By Joseph John J. Perez
LEGAZPI CITY, 11June2013 – Albay province will host at least 10 ministerial meetings during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to be held in the Philippines in the year 2015.
Governor Joey Salceda has announced during the donning of rank ceremony last Friday afternoon held at the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Tactical Operations Group 5 where he was conferred the rank of lieutenant colonel of PAF reserve force.
In a bidding conference held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City last week, Salceda made a presentation showcasing Albay’s capability to host APEC events with its world-class venues composed of hotels, resorts and tourist destinations and its award-winning disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) program that earned the nod of the APEC Organizing Council.
Salceda said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which is the lead agency in the APEC summit preparations granted Albay to host 10 out of 63 events lined-up for the APEC meetings in the country which will commence on December 2014 and will go on until November 2015. The events for Albay are scheduled between February to September 2015.
Salceda said that the discussions for the APEC conferences will deal on the issues on industry, investments, trade and intellectual property rights.
Trade ministers from countries in the Pacific rim together with their support staff are expected to flock in to Albay between the months specified for Albay-based APEC events.
“We are hoping that some heads of state and high ranking government dignitaries from APEC member nations will grace some occasions,” Salceda said.
Additional 600 hotel rooms are needed to comply with the requirement of 3,500 rooms for the 10 APEC meetings, Salceda told PIA.
“The world-class Misibis Hotel Bay Resort Spa will be one of the main venues for the event,” Salceda said.
With the recent activities of Mayon Volcano that prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to raise the alert to level one, Salceda assures that it will not deter the APEC activities but will add more color and attraction in case it will display restiveness during the events.
“A no-fly zone was never declared in Albay during Mayon eruptions, only no aircraft or traffic is allowed near Mayon area,” Salceda said.
The world-famous Mayon will be the perfect backdrop for APEC photo ops during the event as one of the country’s most recognizable tourism image brand, he added.
In 1996, the Philippines first hosted the APEC summit during the term of former president Fidel Ramos. APEC was organized in 1989 with 20-member countries among them some first-world nations such as the United States of America, Australia, Russia, Japan, China, among others. (PIA5/Albay)