by: Sarah Joson
Friday, November 13, 2015 |
This year will mark the Philippines’ second time to host the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. The first time was back in 1996 under the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos. It was held in Subic Bay and was attended by most of the APEC leaders including former US President Bill Clinton.
The 21 members of APEC are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, US, and Vietnam.
President Benigno Aquino III declared November 17-20 as holidays for schools, and November 18-19 as non-working holidays for the public and private sectors in Metro Manila. The holidays are imposed for the convenience of the APEC forum participants and are intended to reduce traffic congestion in Metro Manila. This is also to ensure the safety of the participants, specifically the leaders of the 21-member organization.
Makati, Baguio, Iloilo, Cebu, Albay, Clark in Angeles, Subic in Zambales and Boracay were chosen as venues for the parliamentary meetings prior to the summit. The last leg for this year’s APEC summit meetings will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) at Manila Bay Area, where the leaders will likewise meet on November 18 to finalize a non-binding agreement. Marciano Paynor Jr., head of the APEC National Organizing Council, said the agreement is a summary of everything that was discussed in the 43 previous meetings, and that is what the economic leaders will focus on this year.
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