02 November 2015


Palace announces road advisories for APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting
Malacañang on Monday announced road advisories to be implemented in Metro Manila during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week on November 16 to 20.

“As host of this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, the Philippines will be welcoming leaders and delegates from all over the world for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM), which will be held in Manila from November 18 to 19. These dates have earlier been announced as special non-working days,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.“To further minimize inconvenience to the public, the government has released information on traffic and rerouting schemes to be implemented in Metro Manila from November 16 to 20, during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week,” he further said.

The Palace official said special APEC lanes will be set up along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Roxas Boulevard.

“For EDSA, only APEC vehicles will be allowed on the innermost two lanes of both the northbound and southbound sides. All other lanes, however, will remain open for non-APEC vehicles. For Roxas Boulevard, only APEC vehicles will be allowed on the southbound side, while the entire northbound side—which will be made two-way—will remain open for non-APEC vehicles,” Secretary Lacierda explained.

He noted that for security reasons, certain roads around the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex and the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena area will also be closed for traffic.

“In addition, from November 16 to 20, there will be a daytime truck ban along the South Truck Route. Trucks will only be allowed to use the route from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Roxas Boulevard, however, will remain under a 24-hour truck ban,” he added.

Lacierda said the complete list of road advisories is available on the APEC website apec2015.ph.

“The full list of road advisories, including infographics and alternate routes, is available on the APEC Philippines website, apec2015.ph. The page also contains a reminder that security will be tight at all NAIA Terminals on November 17, 19, and 20, and that a no-fly zone will be implemented on these dates. Travelers are advised to take note of these advisories and plan their trips accordingly,” he added.

Emphasizing the importance of the APEC hosting, Lacierda sought the public’s understanding with regards to the traffic and rerouting schemes.

“These changes are necessary to ensure the security of our APEC visitors, and to decongest their routes as they travel between venues. Again, we wish to emphasize that the Philippines stands to reap many benefits from this hosting, which has already boosted our reputation as a prime tourism and business destination. It is our hope that the public will be able to work with our traffic and security officers toward a successful conclusion to our APEC hosting year,” he said. PND (jm)

President wants deeper probe into bullet-planting allegations at airport
President Benigno S. Aquino III has instructed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to investigate the bullet-planting incidents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).During a meeting in Malacañang on Monday, the President told DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya “to cast a wide net on the data on the allegations”, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

“The President has been briefed and has given further instructions in order to refine the efforts under way. The DOTC, as the lead agency, will be updating the public,” Secretary Lacierda said during a media briefing at the Palace.

He said President Aquino was deeply concerned with the “laglag bala” allegations, the reason why he called a meeting with Secretary Abaya.

“May allegations of planting of bullets. You know the President’s attitude towards a problem… ang approach ng ating Pangulo tungkol sa ano mang problema would be — the correct identification of the problem leads to the correct identification of the solution. So, we are casting a wide net on the data, on the process and areas for improvements,” said Lacierda.

“The fact that the President called for a meeting shows his concern for what is happening there and he wants to make sure, he wants to verify and validate all the assumptions that have been put out in media. We are just being thorough and we want a thorough look at the whole situation so that proper solutions can be given and these are long-term solutions that can be put in place,” he added.

“These are assumptions that we need to validate. That is why we need to look at all the assumptions that were put out. We want to make sure that what measures that we are going to come up with are measures that in the long run would ensure the safety of each and every passenger and guarantee their security as they use the terminals,” the Palace official further said.

Lacierda stressed the importance of probing the allegations as he cited the case of a Japanese tourist who was reported to have been a victim of “laglag bala”.

“I can give you one instance of allegation of planting… The situation of the Japanese tourist na nailathalang nahulihan ‘yung Japanese tourist of — allegations of planting bullet na inimbestiga, inamin na po ‘yan na galing nga siya ng shooting range, nadala niya ‘yung bala mismo. So, there were no allegations of planting bullets. So, we have to look at all the assumptions na nilalabas ng media,” said Lacierda. PND (jm)

Preparing for the climax of the APEC meetings in the Philippines
The 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) take turns each year to host the APEC Meetings and to serve as the APEC Chair. The argument behind the rotational character of the chairmanship is that it ensures that the broad scope of the agenda will somehow reflect the varying interest of the member economies.

As host, the member economy is responsible for chairing the annual Economic Leaders’ Meeting, selected Ministerial Meetings, Senior Officials’ Meetings, and the APEC Business Advisory Council.

The annual leadership cycle ends with the convening of the ministerial meeting and the Leaders’ meeting (APEC Summit).

The APEC Chair has a critical role in influencing the direction of the development of the APEC in terms of the content of cooperation and nature of process.

It should be noted that crafting the theme for this year’s APEC forum was not easy, as the Philippines, as host, had to contend with the need to come up with something that should possess inclusive, forward-looking qualities, such as balance, continuity, relevance, resonance, and sustainability. It shall also underline and advance both domestic and regional goals through building on past and ongoing initiatives while addressing present challenges and needs that relate to common concerns and interests. Moreover, the APEC 2015 theme should be realized by achieving medium- to long-term results.

Stakeholders and other significant actors adopted and utilized a set of guiding principles in crafting the theme for APEC 2015.

Activities were conducted to gather information, facilitate the exchange of opinions, engender support, and formulate policy initiatives and recommendations.

Specifically, consultations were held involving government agencies, the private sector, and APEC Senior Officials to assess the level of comfort on the priorities and gather support for these priorities. Furthermore, research studies were done in collaboration with the academe and think tanks to substantiate identified priorities and produce policy recommendations. Workshops were also organized with host agencies, including the private sector, to define the elements of various high-level meetings in 2015.

Under the Philippines’ leadership, the overall subject of APEC 2015 is the promotion and advancement of inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region, hence the theme, “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”. Accordingly, inclusive growth can be defined, described, and analyzed in three stages – domestic/national, regional, and macro levels.

At the domestic/national level, the inclusive growth strategy of the Philippines is based on creating employment opportunities and jobs, involving and integrating the majority of the population in the economic and social mainstream, and alleviating poverty through good governance and domestic reform.

At the regional level, the inclusive growth strategy of the APEC region is focused on expanding access to opportunities and enabling people to realize their full potential, which will result in more productive employment opportunities, dynamic economic growth, and greater well-being.

At the macro level, the inclusive growth trajectory of the APEC region is centered on bridging the gap between developing and developed APEC economies for the purpose of maximizing the benefits of a freer and more open trade and investment regime for each and every member economy.

And as this year’s APEC Meetings draw to a close, it is but relevant to once again emphasize the priorities of the Philippines as this year’s host.

As host economy, the Philippines hopes to mainstream and pursue its priorities into the agenda and economic policy thrusts of the member economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, the priorities are Investing in Human Capital Development; Fostering Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) Participation in Regional and Global Markets; Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities; and Enhancing the Regional Economic Integration Agenda.

Throughout the year, APEC officials met in various locations in the country to discuss these priorities with the aim of coming up with recommendations for APEC Leaders to consider when they meet this month in the capital city.

Before the year is over, it is expected that concrete course of actions that will affect future regional growth, shall have been determined. (APEC Communications Group)