Leaders of Chile, Mexico on state visits during APEC meet
(The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is set to host state visits for the leaders of Chile and Mexico and hold bilateral meetings with 11 heads of state attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the country this month.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte did not provide details during a press briefing but stressed, “we’re expecting to welcome all 20 APEC economic leaders.”

Enrique Peña Nieto is the Mexican president while his Chilean counterpart is Michelle Bachelet.

Valte said Thursday APEC member-economies were “all represented” and they would send advance teams to Manila.

She said there was no indication that Chinese President Xi Jinping would skip the summit despite the lack of written confirmation.

Aside from Putin, US President Barack Obama has confirmed attendance to the summit along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, among others.

Meanwhile, no less than 20 parking spaces for airplanes have been reserved at the Clark International Airport for the APEC summit from Nov. 17 to 20 in Manila.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has made arrangements with the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) for the accommodation of flights to be disrupted when a no-fly zone policy is enforced at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) during the summit.

Flights at Clark will remain normal despite the suspension of commercial flights at NAIA, CIAC spokesman Rendy Isip told The STAR.

“There will be no changes, no suspension of regular international and domestic flights at Clark,” he said.

Eight airlines operating at Clark will go on with their 124 flights per week as the airport has enough aircraft parking spaces to take in even planes flying in APEC delegates, Isip said.

“While we don’t have information on whether any of the aircraft to be used by the heads of state attending APEC will be parking at Clark, we have enough space for parking,” he said.

Philippine Airlines has announced that 115 domestic and 96 international flights will not be operating on Nov. 15 to 20, and Cebu Pacific Air has canceled at least 260 flights over the same period – 26 of them to and from international destinations.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has issued an advisory about “periodic temporary runway closures” at NAIA during the arrival and departure of heads of state.

However, the cancellation of flights at NAIA was “the call of airlines,” authorities said.

Some 7,000 official delegates, including heads of state, from 21 economies will arrive for the annual gathering. The number does not include journalists and tourists who are also expected to come.

Malacañang has announced no classes and work for government employees from Nov. 17 to 20.

Work in the private sector will also be suspended from Nov. 18 to 19, the dates of the actual conference.

MIAA also clarified that roads leading to the NAIA would be open to vehicular traffic during the APEC summit.

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said both lanes of Roxas Boulevard would be closed to vehicular traffic from Nov. 16 to 20, particularly from Katigbak Drive to NAIA Road.

Passengers with flights on those dates are asked to use other routes going to NAIA, such as Aurora Boulevard coming from EDSA, Andrews Avenue and the South Luzon Expressway.

“No special transportation system will be implemented by the MIAA for passengers trying to reach the terminals given its accessibility under the current traffic management plan of the MMDA,” MIAA said.

Commercial flights from Nov. 16 to 20 will be available but may be subject to disruption, diversion or even cancellation.

“As such, passengers are advised to fly ahead or after the APEC summit. They are further encouraged to get in touch with their airlines for any changes in their flight schedules,” MIAA added.

ABIGAIL VALTE ACIRC ANDREWS AVENUE AND THE SOUTH LUZON EXPRESSWAY APEC ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ATILDE AURORA BOULEVARD CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU AND INDONESIAN PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO CEBU PACIFIC AIR CHILE AND MEXICO FLIGHTS
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