Cebu is 80 percent ready to host the 21 member-economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit from August to October this year.
APEC 2015 National Organizing Council (NOC) Director General Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr. issued the statement to the media following the NOC’s first official meeting with its local counterpart at the Capitol last May 14.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale represented Governor Hilario P. Davide III at the meeting.
Governor Davide is the chair of the local organizing committee with the city mayors of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapulapu as his co chairpersons. The committee also includes a group of local businessmen and government agencies including the military and policemen.
Paynor said “Cebu is 80 percent prepared” because “everything is already in place.”
He further stated that Cebu has proven to be an able host after it “flawlessly and seamlessly” hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in 2006.
The only problem however is traffic, according to Paynor. He said that on-going constructions on roads and bridges that would hamper the traffic flow should momentarily be stopped during the summit.
Cebu will host the Third Senior Officials’ Meeting on August 24 to September 6. It will have 3200 official delegates.
In addition, four (4) ministerial meetings will also be held in Cebu: Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting on September 7-8, Finance Ministerial Meeting on September 10-11, Transportation Ministerial on October 8-10, and the 12th APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting on October 12-14.
Paynor said there will be around 35 to 40 related meetings in between those dates.
The meeting venues are at Radisson Blu Hotel, Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, and Shangrila’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
Paynor said it is necessary that the roads going to these venues are free-flowing since some delegates will be transferring from one meeting to another.
He also asked the Cebuanos’ understanding on the hosting of the event, which will affect their daily routines.
“The public should know the importance of APEC Summit so that they will not begrudge the hosting. Around 80 percent of the country’s trade is with the APEC members”, Paynor added.
The effect of APEC policies and decisions on Cebu, being a manufacturing and export center, was given emphasis.
The 21 APEC member-economies are United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Hongkong, China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam.
Cebu has been chosen to host the APEC with seven ($7) other provinces or cities in the country. Should the other venues be unable to host because of disasters, Cebu is picked as an alternative venue.
Last week, members of the local organizing committee traveled to Boracay to observe the hosting of another APEC meeting.