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Cebu News

2nd round of APEC meetings kicks off

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu is set for the next round of meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) here, which will start today.

Compared to the meetings in September, there are fewer police personnel fielded in this round of meetings but Davide is assured measures are in place to ensure the delegates’ safety, especially that the participants are high-ranking officials of participating economies.

Unlike in September, there are fewer participants this time, about 700.

“We won’t take any chances. We will still secure them. De-rango ra ba ni sila,” he said.

Almost 3,000 cops were deployed in September to guard at least 3,000 delegates.

PNP chief Police Director General Ricardo Marquez assured high level security for the delegates.

The Site Task Group - Cebu, which is composed of 20 agencies – from police to traffic groups – is working in “advancing the country’s interest.”

“Hasang-hasa na yung Site Task Group - Cebu. Remember, yung mga naunang meeting dito, they were among the longest, among the largest APEC meetings in the country so handang-handa ang Site Task Group - Cebu,” he said.

Marquez said the police respect the rights of the people to express their thoughts even through rallies but he asked that  “as a nation, ipakita natin that we are a hospitable race, which is yun ang ating ipinagmamalaki.”

So far, no threat to any delegate or to the event surfaced during their situation briefing yesterday, he said.

The meetings will kick off with a two-day ministerial meeting on transportation today and Friday. Next week, on October 13 and 14, delegates will gather for the energy ministerial meetings.

Davide said the provincial government will host a welcome dinner for the delegates at the Capitol next week.

Yesterday, barangay officials in Cebu participated in discussions on the “Basic Understanding About APEC & Its General Impact” to have a better understanding of the meetings.

Ethel Natera, Cebu Province information officer, said the barangay officials were also made to understand the benefits Cebu will get from the meetings.

She said APEC is one of the biggest summits in the world along with the G20 Summit, hence, there is a need to heighten awareness about its significance and its general impact to the Philippines including Cebu.

Among the topics tackled in yesterday’s were urbanization, economic development, and how the rising volume of people and goods moving within and between Asia-Pacific markets are putting increased strain on transportation infrastructure and threaten to undermine the capacity for trade and growth across the region’s economies.

Jose Mari Oquinena, director general of the Philippine Information Agency, told the barangay officials the effect of the agreements reached during the APEC meetings will be felt three to five years from now.

He also explained that that the agreements are voluntary, arrived at through a consensus, and non-binding.

“But we have to remember that the APEC leaders are discussing on what is good for us in the future,” he explained.

The Philippines is playing host to this year’s APEC meetings starting in January up to November 19.

APEC is composed of 21-member economies which includes the Philippines, United States of America, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.

 In this round of meetings, Energy Ministers from APEC members, the world’s biggest producers and consumers of energy, will take forward new measures to boost regional energy security and inclusive, sustainable growth.

Areas of emphasis will include improving energy access, renewable energy use, efficiency and reductions in carbon emissions, the APEC statement reads.

Traffic

In Mandaue City, traffic group chief Glenn Antigua said flow of vehicle traffic in the city “is back to normal” because road constructions are halted temporarily while the APEC meetings are ongoing.

Antigua said the flow of traffic going to Lapu-Lapu City via the Marcelo H. Fernan Bridge is “normal” because the replacement of expansion joints of the structure has been suspended.

Antigua also described the traffic in Plaridel Street as “smooth” because the movement of motor vehicles is not hampered. The road construction along the area has also been suspended to avoid heavy traffic, especially when APEC delegates pass by the area.

Plaridel Street is part of the ceremonial route of the APEC delegates.

Motorists, however, can expect the headache to resume once construction works resume.

“Expect ta nga mobalik gyud ang heavy traffic, especially sa Plaridel kay dako-dako pa man ang trabahoon,” Antigua said.

Antigua cited A.S. Fortuna Street, M.L. Quezon Street, and Subangdaku Flyover as problem areas.

The traffic management team said one lane of the flyover is being closed to traffic because of the ongoing replacement of expansion joints.

“Gisira ang lane from Panagdait going to North Bus Terminal kay gitrabaho pa ang pag-ilis sa expansion joints. Kun mahuman ni nga lane, ang pikas na sad,” Antigua said.

Antigua added there is a need to replace the expansion joints of the flyover because these were already old and have opened up. Antigua said the replacement works are expected to be completed by next week.

But until the road works are ongoing, heavy traffic will occur in the area, especially during peak hours, said Antigua.

In Basak, Mandaue City, drainage construction are also suspended from time to time once traffic are getting heavier, particularly along the North Road.

“Mao ma’y among gisabotan nga once mo-heavy gyud ang traffic, stop gyud sila (sa pagbutang og drainage). Di man sad puwede nga isakripisyo nato ang publiko,” Antigua said. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

ANG

ANTIGUA

APEC

ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION

BASIC UNDERSTANDING ABOUT

CEBU

MEETINGS

PLARIDEL STREET

SITE TASK GROUP

TRAFFIC

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