Cebu News

Cebu now reaping benefits of hosting APEC

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu is now reaping the benefits of hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2015 meetings, as organizers asked for patience and understanding from Cebuanos affected by the road closures and truck ban.

“We recognize that these changes have consequences for local businesses as well as residents’ everyday lives, but we also wish to emphasize that Cebu stands to reap many benefits from this hosting,” said APEC spokesperson Charles Jose.

According to him, the road closures and extended truck ban hours are necessary to decongest the delegates’ routes as they travel between meeting venues.

He said that the effects of the international event have been felt already in Cebu.

 “In the short term, for example, additional jobs have been created as a result of the increased influx of visitors. Outside their meetings, delegates have been going around the province and even neighboring islands, empowering businesses and boosting 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 in his prepared speech.

 Jose said that the meetings, with 70 out of 87 have been done so far, have helped improve the quality of Cebu’s products and services, aligning them with international standards in preparation for other 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,” he said.

Jose said they are encouraging the delegates to explore the natural beauty of Cebu and its neighboring islands, but at the same time the organizer asked that they undergo proper registration because they want to minimize the risk of possible difficulties.

So far, Jose said, there are no reports of foreign delegates encountering problems as they go around the island or reports of any security breached.

“We would like to make use of this opportunity to present of what we have. This will be a big boost to our tourism. Imagine if they post a picture of their visit online, the multiplier effect of this. Their relatives and friends will see them. We should all be encouraging this. We take this as a good opportunity to showcase Cebu,” Jose said.

Jose said Cebu was doing very well in hosting the event.

“I worked with APEC before. We are at par with other cities that hosted APEC before. Cebu has lots to offer in terms of natural wonders especially the hospitality of the people. Cebu is up there,” he said.

Inclusive growth

Inclusive growth is what Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III emphasized as Cebu plays host to the APEC meetings.

The governor, at a press briefing yesterday, said he is hoping that the benefits that Cebu can reap from hosting the international event would not be confined to Metro Cebu only where the meetings are held.

“It’s not just about Metro Cebu, but we also have to include the other municipalities. There are other cities and towns outside Metro Cebu where economic opportunities should be made available to the people,” he said.

He noted that some of the delegates have visited tourist destinations in southern Cebu such as Oslob, which is known for whale shark watching, and Samboan, famous for its sought-after waterfalls, including the Aguinid Falls.

“We would like (to invite) our delegates to experience Cebu. We would like them to see Cebu for themselves… Our towns and cities outside Metro Cebu should also actively participate in welcoming delegates to their respective areas,” he suggested.

He also encouraged the private sector to help and focus on the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) so as to provide more economic opportunities for the province.  (FREEMAN)


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