08 October 2015

APEC News Releases

Transportation Secretary Abaya hopes Cebu forum would empower women in transport sector
(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said he hopes the discussion on the role of women in the transportation sector would close the gap in gender roles and improve data collection on their involvement in the sector.

In his opening remarks during the “Women and Transportation Forum”, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City on Thursday, Secretary Abaya noted the scarcity of data on women in the transportation sector.

“Having a framework on data collection would likewise help collect and progress information on the challenges, opportunities and progresses of women,” he said.

He said he expects delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings to learn and share best practices through lectures, discussions and case studies.

Abaya further said that he is optimistic that through the forum, the delegates would be able to highlight the priorities, challenges and risks of the implementation of policies towards women.

In the case of the Philippines, the government has already begun initiatives that support women, he said, citing that in March 2012, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) issued Department Order 2012-05, mainstreaming Gender and Development (GAD) in the transportation sector.

This, he said, is being carried out through policies and programs, activities and projects.

The order also strengthened Gender and Development focal points in the DOTC Central Office and all other offices, he added.

The DOTC also issued Department Order 2012-09 in August 2012, defining the implementing rules on the harmonized GAD guidelines for project development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

“These two orders have paved the way for various initiatives to advance the women’s advocacy, such as the conduct of the 1st Gender and Development Transportation Summit last November 2012,” he said.

“The summit aimed to define the transportation’s own gender and development agenda.”

The summit, organized by DOTC, enabled stakeholders from the public and private sectors to agree and advance the cause of women in the sector, which has long been dominated by men.

After the summit, different sectors under transportation signed manifestos, memoranda of agreement, and memoranda of understanding that seek to enhance the quality of women’s transportation.

Abaya encouraged APEC delegates in the transportation forum to participate actively in all activities.

“As prime movers of the transportation industry in our respective economies and in the APEC region, we all have the duty to promote development that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable,” he said. PND (as)

APEC Business Advisory Council calls for more women participation in transport sector
(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is urging the transport sector to promote women’s rights and equal rights regardless of gender, the woman behind Magsaysay Maritime Inc., the largest manning company in the country, has said.

“They must create an environment that celebrates the uniqueness of women,” Doris Magsaysay-Ho, this year’s Chair of the ABAC, said in her remarks at the opening of the APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting here Thursday.

Noting that women are better drivers than men, contrary to popular perceptions, Ho disclosed that Uber Technologies, Inc. already has plans to hire women drivers.

Uber is an American international transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request, which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.

She further pointed out that more women, including Filipinos, are having the opportunity to enter the shipping sector, which has been considered a man’s world, amid acute shortages of top officers among ship managers.

The Philippines is home to at least 25 percent of the world’s seafarers, who include Filipino women, she said.

Ho cited as an example Kate McCue, the first American woman to captain a cruise ship this year.

The 37-year-old McCue took the helm of the 91,000-ton cruise vessel last September. Her maiden voyage was on the Celebrity Summit ship as it set sail to New England and Canada. She was in charge of more than 2,000 passengers and a crew of almost 1,000.

According to Ho, based on the Filipino experience, the promotion cycle of a seafarer takes at least 10 years.

She pointed out that a female cadet who starts at 20 years old, would be 30 years old when she become eligible to become sea captain.

“However, reality shows that at the age of 30, women enter a period where they get married, have children, and take care of their family,” the ABAC chair said. “Companies must take this into reality when developing workforce policies.”

Ho said this environment should allow the success of women in the workplace to also include success in their home.

She said that a progressive approach of cross-border flow of seafarers would allow them to pursue career paths while maintaining ties at home.

Companies must make provisions for childcare facilities, flexible work hours, and prevent sexual harassment.

According to Ho, the ABAC is suggesting better movement of people through the earn, learn, and return framework.

Under the framework, women seafarers, after years of working overseas, could go back home and open a bed and breakfast with the same standards as a cruise ship.

Ho said throughout the Philippine hosting of the APEC, the concept of inclusive growth has been the overriding principle.

“We must ensure that policies are truly inclusive, giving women the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and aspirations,” she stressed.

The APEC transportation meetings will run until October 10. (APEC Communications Group)

APEC Business Advisory Council chair highlights importance of public-private sector dialogue
(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Top business executives from the private sector met at the Shangri-La Mactan Hotel here on Thursday for the chief executive officers’ (CEO) round-table discussion on transportation, as they prepare for the meeting with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministers on Friday.

In her welcome message on Thursday, Doris Magsaysay-Ho, Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Philippines, said holding dialogues with the private sector is a good idea because private businesses and the government could work together on a common goal.

Ho also highlighted the importance of breakout and offshoot dialogues since these allow them to go deeper into areas where the initiatives are being undertaken.

She also underscored the importance of giving young people the opportunity to innovate because this could address the need for companies to augment their own innovation initiatives.

“The goal is how to achieve the areas of access, sustainability, innovation and leveraging on technology to really allow everybody, everyone to be able to access those great markets up there,” she said on the discussion on inclusive mobility.

The meetings here in Cebu, according to Ho, could give the government a chance to hear the views of the private sector on emerging issues, as well as on how to achieve inclusive goals.

She also observed that although the APEC covers 55 percent of global trade, there is still a big disparity between the haves and the have-nots in terms of the benefits brought about by more liberalized trade.

“So this year, the Philippine government and ABAC Philippines, as the chair of this year’s (APEC) hosting, both coincidentally agreed that the key thrust, the key theme should be inclusive growth,” Ho said.

“Because otherwise, only the very large companies would benefit from broader trade, leaving the smaller companies behind.”

The initiative has three legs: helping more small and medium enterprises to join global trade; bringing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to larger businesses and the global supply and value chain; and facilitating MSMEs to participate in e-commerce to bring more economies to what is now the biggest driver, which is technology-based businesses.

Member economies of the APEC are meeting for the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting here in Cebu. PND (as)

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation eyes increased women’s inclusion in transport sector
(CEBU CITY, Cebu) Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) aim to improve women’s participation in the transportation sector by adopting the Women in Transportation (WiT) Framework.

During the WiT Forum here on Thursday, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs of the United States Department of Transportation Susan Kurland said the WiT Framework will focus on key pillars:

● promoting education, to encourage women to receive the necessary training to qualify for transportation-related jobs and to improve awareness on opportunities in the sector;

● hiring and entrepreneurship, which targets to increase workforce participation of women in the transportation sector and to enhance the workforce’s condition to retain women in the industry;

● advocating women leadership; and

● promoting women’s safe use of the transportation system.

“The APEC transportation ministers have recognized the important role that women are playing in the sector and more broadly in the APEC region,” said Kurland.

“Indeed, women are (a) source of economic growth and prosperity. But they must also have the opportunity to contribute, and all too often, that opportunity is not available,” she added.

She pointed out that the APEC region loses some US$ 42 billion to US$ 47 billion due to women’s limited participation in the workforce.

She also noted that women’s labor participation in the sector is relatively low.

“Women are not adequately well-represented in the transportation workforce,” Kurland stressed.

She said the transportation sector is crucial for women’s economic empowerment as it allows mobility and provides career opportunities.

In crafting the WiT Framework, APEC economies should consider women’s unique needs as transportation users, the US official noted.

The Philippines co-chairs the WiT Forum with the US and Vietnam on the margins of the Transportation Ministerial Meeting in the province of Cebu. PNA (kc)

Palace says it respects United Nations Working Group’s opinion on the case former President Arroyo
Malacañang on Thursday said it respects the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s (WGAD) opinion on the case involving former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but maintained that the latter has been accorded due process under Philippine law.

In a statement, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the Philippines “takes note of the opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and will prepare an appropriate response, according to WGAD’s rules.”

Quoting the Department of Foreign Affairs, he said the country, as a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, abides by its international obligations and ensures that all individuals are accorded due process under its laws.

“Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been accorded such due process and has availed herself of various legal remedies under Philippine laws. It must be noted that there is an ongoing judicial process in the Philippine courts, which has sole jurisdiction to decide on such matters. The Philippine Government or any international body for that matter, cannot interfere nor influence the course of an independent judicial proceeding,” he said in the statement.

During the daily media briefing at the Palace, Coloma reiterated that while the Philippine government respects the UN-WGAD’s opinion, it disagrees with the view expressed by the group.

“Ang mahalaga sa posisyon ng ating pamahalaan ay ang pagsasabi na naaayon sa batas ang lahat ng isinasagawang proseso patungkol sa dating Pangulong Arroyo. Kung meron silang mga opinyon o pananaw hinggil sa ating sistema karapatan nila iyon. Basta malinaw ang posisyon ng ating pamahalaan na hindi tayo sumasang-ayon sa pananaw na inihayag nila,” he said.

On the preparation of an “appropriate response” to the UN-WGAD’s opinion, Coloma said, “Merong mga procedure doon sa UN, unawain natin kung ano ang mga ito, iyon ang gagamitin nating channel for conveying our position.”

Last February, international lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney filed a complaint at the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights on behalf of Arroyo, to compel the Philippine government to release the former president on humanitarian grounds.

On October 2, the UN-WGAD recommended that Arroyo be accorded “with an enforceable right to compensation” for being denied of bail.

Clooney said the UN opinion “finds that the detention of former President Arroyo was arbitrary and illegal under international law because the Sandiganbayan court failed to take into account her individual circumstances when it repeatedly denied bail, failed to consider measures alternative to pre-trial detention and because of the undue delays in proceedings against her”.

Arroyo, who currently serves as a Pampanga Congresswoman, is suffering from multilevel cervical spondylosis.

She is facing plunder charges for the alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds during her tenure as president. PND (ag)

Police pursuing kidnappers of Italian national in Dipolog, says Palace official
Malacañang said on Thursday that the authorities are hunting down the kidnappers of an Italian businessman in Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte.

“Tinutugis na ng Philippine National Police ang mga nagsagawa ng pagdukot at gagawin ang nararapat upang mailigtas si Ginoong Rolando del Torchio sa Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing at the Palace.

Secretary Coloma further noted that the government continues to maintain peace and order in the country.

“Patuloy pa rin namang sinisikap ng ating pamahalaan na mapabuti ang peace and order condition at upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng lahat ng indibidwal, sila man ay Pilipino o hindi Pilipino,” he said.

Italian del Torchio, a missionary turned businessman, was reportedly kidnapped by unidentified men on Wednesday evening at his pizza restaurant at the Andres Bonifacio College compound in Dipolog City. PND (ag)

U.S. official recognizes important role of women in transport sector
(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Women must have the opportunity to participate in all levels of the transportation sector across modes and economies, a top United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) official has said.

“We recognize the important role of women in transportation,” US DOT Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs Susan Kurland said in her remarks at the opening of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women in Transportation Forum held here Thursday. “They must have the opportunity to contribute.”According to Kurland, what the APEC member economies have in common is the passion for women’s inclusion in the transportation sector.

“Women can find economic empowerment as workers in and users of transportation,” she said.

However, Kurland noted that women do not have adequate access to safe transportation.

“Women often travel with children during unique times and moving to unique locations,” she pointed out.
lleadership, the pillars include promoting education to qualify for jobs in transportation; hiring and entrepreneurship, removing barriers and improving employment; and safe access to transportation.

“By the end, we would have covered substantial ground to ensure that our work will continue into the future,” said Kurland.

In 2011, the US DOT called for a special session on women at the 7th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting. As a result, ministers directed the APEC Transportation Working Group to launch a ‘Women in Transportation’ initiative to develop and implement actions that advance opportunities for women throughout the sector.

The Women in Transportation initiative builds on core principles of the APEC’s Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy. Transportation and mobility are central to trade facilitation, sustainable development and economic growth. As countries move to address evolving transportation needs, developing all available human capital is vital to enhancing the transportation industry’s global competitiveness and supply chain performance.

The APEC Women in Transportation effort focuses on identifying barriers and best practices to include women in the transportation workforce, as well as strategies for enhanced opportunities in four key areas of the career continuum: education, access to jobs, retention, and leadership development.

Furthermore, public-private engagement comprises an integral component of the effort to strengthen the role of women in transportation.

Kurland leads the APEC Women in Transportation initiative on behalf of the US DOT secretary. (APEC Communications Group)

Philippines aims to learn from APEC economies’ experiences in transport sector
(CEBU CITY, Cebu) The Philippines expects to gain knowledge from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies’ advanced experiences in the transportation sector.

“Admittedly, our economy has a long way to go to fully realize the goal of inclusive mobility, equitable development, and the advancement of women in transportation,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on the sidelines of the 9th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting here on Thursday.

For her part, DOTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse Bonifacio said the Philippines’ exposure to other member economies’ experiences in the transportation sector — particularly from First World countries — will offer different perspectives that would enable the country to improve its own transport industry.

Hence, the Philippines will be proposing an Inclusive Mobility Network, which aims to gather best practices in the region and put together guidelines for sustainable mobility, Bonifacio said.

“I think we will be mostly a benefactor, considering that our transportation system is not yet inclusive in the sense that it caters to persons with disabilities. But we are trying hard to make it inclusive. That is why I think we would be benefiting more from this initiative,” she said.

She noted that the country aims to promote non-motorized mobility, particularly in central business districts (CBDs), to encourage people to use bicycles or to walk.

Bonifacio however noted that it has been a challenge for the country to sustain infrastructure for biking and walking due to some legal framework.

“What we lack in the Philippines really is, I think, more on the soft side. We lack institutional set up to realize the issue of mobility,” she said.

“So (building) infrastructure is easy but given the framework that we have, the legal framework — how do you introduce cycling, for example? So you have to look first at the institutional side, on how to make that sustainable. It is easy to build streets, but who will maintain these (infrastructures)?” she explained.

With the establishment of the Inclusive Mobility Network however, the Philippines hopes to gain ideas and learn from the APEC region’s best practices in attaining sustainable mobility, she said.

“Our involvement in APEC broadens our perspective on how things are done, with regards to transport,” Bonifacio said.

The Philippines is hosting this year’s APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting from October 8 to 10 in the province of Cebu, under the theme, “Driving Economic Growth Through Inclusive Mobility and Sustainable Transport Systems”.

During the meeting, APEC’s transportation ministers will focus their discussions on inclusive mobility, developing sustainable transport systems, and encouraging innovation and transport systems. PNA (kc)