APEC preparations on track
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in November are on track, with Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo still on board as he decided to stay in his post until yearend, Malacañang said yesterday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said a good number of APEC leaders have confirmed attendance to the summit, but she would not reveal who they are until everything was final.

As far as the events are concerned, Valte said the host would have to worry about two aspects: the leaders’ security and their logistics, and the substantives or initiatives that the Philippines would push during the meetings with leaders of 20 economies in Asia Pacific.

“First, on the hosting, so far it’s going well… We are past the halfway mark already,” Valte said. “Preparations are not just underway, our practice for that is continuous.”

The renovation of Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is also about to be completed as construction rushes to beat the Sept. 30 deadline.

The renovation includes the improvement of the presidential lounge for the heads of state who will be arriving for the summit. NAIA Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta said workers are also testing the water and sewerage system in the ramp area. 

Regarding substantive issues, Valte said the Philippines has pushed for a number of initiatives but the adoption would take a long process because all the member-economies would have to agree.

“We have a very strong push to help our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). So all our initiatives, in all of the meetings… what is being pushed on the Philippine side would be how to help Filipino MSMEs to be able to integrate and penetrate the global value chain,” she added.

Valte also said Domingo agreed to delay his resignation from the Department of Trade and Industry until after the APEC summit.

Domingo was quoted in reports as saying he had spoken with President Aquino on Tuesday and he acceded to Aquino’s request for him to stay until the end of the year.

“As far as DTI is concerned, for the ministerial (meetings) or the Cabinet secretary-level meetings – there is one that always involves DTI under Secretary Domingo, which is the Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial (meeting). That’s going to be five days in Iloilo next week. – With Rudy Santos                                                   

 

ABIGAIL VALTE ACIRC ASIA PACIFIC ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION DANTE BASANTA DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DOMINGO NBSP NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT PRESIDENT AQUINO VALTE
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