03 September 2015

APEC News Release

Cebu expects APEC hosting to open up opportunities for far-flung municipalities
(CEBU CITY, Cebu) The provincial government wants to promote other locations in Cebu to delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to spur new investments in the province, Cebu Governor Hilaro Davide III said on Thursday.

“We always talk about inclusive growth, it is not just Metro Cebu and we are looking at including other parts of the province. Cebu has 44 municipalities, seven component cities, and two highly urbanized cities,” Governor Davide said during a press conference at Bayfront Hotel here.

“It is not enough that we concentrate on mega Cebu. As you are well aware, there is a Metro Cebu Coordinating Board that focuses on cities and municipalities in Cebu,” he said, noting that other towns and cities in the province should be exposed to economic opportunities for the benefit of the people.

To discourage migration to metro Cebu, especially to the highly urbanized areas, Davide said they encourage the private sector to focus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the countryside.

“We want to develop the countryside as much as we can, to provide Cebuanos economic opportunities,” he said, adding that the provincial government wants to concentrate on enhancing the manufacturing, services and tourism industries in the province.

Cebu is hosting the 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM III) and related meetings. The province expects to accommodate more than 2,000 APEC delegates for the meetings here. PND (as)

Government consulting provincial, city bus operators to ease traffic jams along EDSA
The government is consulting provincial and city bus operators, as well as port users, to ease the traffic congestion along the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Thursday.

“Sa araw na ito (Thursday), sina Chairman (Winston) Ginez ng LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) ay nakikipagpulong sa provincial at city bus operators, dahil mahalaga ang kanilang papel sa pagpapadali ng daloy ng trapiko,” Secretary Coloma said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

“Mayroong mga panukala hinggil doon sa mga dadaanan ng (provincial buses) dahil kasama din sila doon sa vehicle load sa EDSA. Mayroon ding mga ongoing consultations sa mga port users, dahil nga doon sa mga dinadaanan din ng trak,” he said.

He noted that more consultations are being held with other concerned parties.

“Maraming mga konsultasyon na isinasagawa para kapag naanunsyo o bago i-anunsyo ang mga isasagawang hakbang, tiyak na napag-aralan ito nang husto dahil para kay Pangulong Aquino, mahalagang-mahalaga ang suporta ng mga mamamayan,” he said.

“Nais niyang tiyakin na ang mga ipapatupad na mga aksyon ay aani ng suporta sa ating mga mamamayan sapagkat, kapag mayroong suporta ang mamamayan, mas mataas ang probabilidad na magtatagumpay ito,” Coloma added. PND (ag)

Cebu sees more foreign investment from APEC hosting, says Gov. Davide
(CEBU CITY, Cebu) Cebu’s provincial government is planning to create more economic zones and is drawing up strategies to enhance port facilities, as it gears up for increased foreign investment from the province’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

“I am confident that after the (APEC) meetings here, there would be foreign economies and even foreign businessmen, who would express interest in investing here in Cebu,” said Governor Hilario Davide III, chair of the APEC Cebu Organizing Committee.

Governor Davide said he expects investments to pour into the manufacturing sector, particularly fashion accessories, gift items and food; tourism; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and the services sector.

“Services, that’s one of the key (economic) drivers here in Cebu,” he noted. “We encourage the private sector to also focus on MSMEs in the countryside. We want to develop the countryside as much as we can, to provide economic opportunities to Cebuanos there.”

To seize these investment opportunities, the governor underscored the need to enhance port facilities.

He said the Cebu Provincial Planning and Development Office, along with the local government units, are also looking at the possibility of establishing more economic zones for future investment.

Setting up more economic zones is one of the programs the government is considering for the future, he said, adding that this has been requested by potential investors.

Davide also assured prospective investors that the Cebu Investment Promotions Office is creating a business-friendly climate, especially for foreign investors.

Some 3,000 delegates are attending the APEC meetings here that run from August 22 to September 11. PNA (ldv)

Cebu stands to gain from APEC hosting in the long term, says foreign affairs official
(CEBU CITY, Cebu) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 Spokesperson Charles Jose on Thursday asked Cebuanos for more patience as Cebu hosts the 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings.

Jose, who is also the spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said during a media briefing here that as delegates discuss ways to strengthen trade and promote inclusivity in the Asia-Pacific region, some issues have come to their attention.

“Regarding road closures and extended truck ban hours, we ask for the patience and understanding of all those affected,” he said in a statement.

“As local officials have already explained, these changes are necessary to decongest the delegates’ routes as they travel between meeting venues.”

These changes, he said, have consequences for local businesses, as well as the residents’ everyday lives.

Jose however emphasized that Cebu stands to benefit from the province’s hosting of the APEC.

At the same time, in the interest of security, Jose reminded APEC delegates who are attending meetings here that APEC 2015 organizers have set up information desks in all accredited hotels, where they can register for tours within or outside Cebu.

Should the delegates wish to organize their own trips, Jose asked them to leave their itineraries with accredited personnel.

“We encourage our visitors to explore the natural beauty of Cebu and its neighboring islands, but at the same time, we ask that they undergo proper registration because we want to minimize the risk of possible difficulties,” he said.

Jose also outlined the benefits of APEC hosting for Cebu, such as additional jobs that have been created as a result of the increased influx of visitors.

Outside the meeting venues, the delegates have been going around the province and even neighboring islands, and this empowers businesses and boosts tourism.

“Local farmers have also been able to bring home extra income, as a result of the increased demand from hotels and restaurants,” he said.

Over the long term, Cebu’s openness bodes well for its development prospects, especially now that it is becoming known as a destination for international meetings like the APEC, he said, adding that the ongoing APEC meetings have helped the province improve the quality of its products and services, aligning them with international standards in preparation for future events.

“As a result of the interest generated by APEC, more investments are also expected to come in, besides similar anticipated increases in tourist arrivals,” Jose said. PND (as)

APEC spokesman asks media to help promote APEC Philippines 2015
(CEBU CITY, Cebu) To raise public awareness about the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015, the event’s spokesperson Charles Jose invited members of the media to visit <apec2015.ph>, the official website of APEC Philippines 2015.

Jose, who is also the spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said that among the materials available on the site is the APEC Primer, which provides background information on the history, organization, achievements, and goals of the APEC.

He said the primer, which is available in a variety of local languages, including Cebuano, is crucial for understanding the context of the APEC meetings.

“The APEC 2015 website is also regularly updated with the latest press releases from host agencies, as well as from the Department of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

“These releases detail the discussions and outcomes of APEC meetings, and provide useful information on how the APEC community is concretizing steps and solutions toward the four 2015 priorities.”

Visitors may also access official photo releases and transcripts of remarks, he said.

Jose also invited the media to access helpful publications on the APEC’s website, apec.org.

“These include ‘APEC at a Glance’ and ‘APEC Outcomes and Outlook 2014/2015’. Both were prepared by the APEC Secretariat based in Singapore,” he said.

“We hope that these resources prove useful to our partners in the media, and aid in the dissemination of accurate and timely information about the Philippine hosting,” Jose added. PND (as)

Government studying options in anticipation of El Niño
A Palace official on Thursday assured the public that the government is studying options on how to deal with the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon.

In a media briefing in Malacañang, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said preparations are being undertaken to ensure that the drought, which the El Niño would bring in the coming months, could be handled.

“Sa ngayon ay pinag-aaralan ang mga opsyon at hindi pa naman talaga pumapasok doon sa kritikal na panahon,” Secretary Coloma said, noting that the effects of the El Niño, such as drought in the country’s food-producing areas, are expected to be felt during the last quarter of the year until the first quarter of 2016.

He also urged the public to save water in anticipation of the dry months.

“Pinaghahandaan ito pero hindi naman kailangang maligalig ang ating mga mamamayan. Kailangang maging handa at magtipid sa paggamit ng tubig dahil nga pumapasok tayo dito sa sitwasyon na maaaring maging matindi ang El Niño,” he said.

Coloma said measures to ensure that the country has enough food supplies are also being discussed.

“Marami pang ibang mga action measures na pinag-aaralan patungkol naman doon sa pagtitiyak na meron tayong sapat na supply ng pagkain at ito ay maaaring makuha ng ating mga mamamayan sa resonableng halaga,” he explained.

The Palace official also assured that there will be no hoarding of food supplies.

“Walang hoarding na magaganap, walang magsasamantala sa sitwasyon na inaasahang maaaring lumubha kapag dumating ang matinding tagtuyot,” he said. PND (jm)

APEC’s trade liberalization agenda to benefit Filipino consumers, says spokesman
(CEBU CITY, Cebu) Filipino consumers can benefit from cheaper goods and services resulting from the implementation of trade-liberalizing and business-facilitating measures by member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Spokesperson of the APEC, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, said trade liberalization in the region, one of the main agenda of the APEC, is a policy decision usually involving the lowering of tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

“Of course, consumers will definitely benefit once we lower tariff (because) that means we will have cheaper goods and services available to us,” he explained during a press briefing here Thursday.

In terms of business facilitation, Jose, who is also the spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said APEC member economies have embarked on many initiatives, particularly those in the area of customs procedures.

He said the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) is working on the harmonization of the customs tariffs.

He cited various Cebu ports that can benefit from the faster release of goods resulting from the harmonization of all the customs code in APEC member economies.

“That is one way of facilitating and making business easier here in Cebu,” he added.

Cebu City is hosting the APEC’s 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings from August 22 to September 11.

Jose said 70 out of 87 APEC meetings scheduled have so far been completed. PNA (ldv)