Apec team impressed with Bacolod’s readiness

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Friday, February 21, 2014


THE ocular team for the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit was impressed with Bacolod City’s capability and readiness to host one of the meetings of the Apec in October next year.

“As we have seen, Bacolod has a lot to offer particularly its cuisine, industries, craft and its culture. Also the brand of its leadership is very important,” said ocular team head Revimarc de Mesa, Apec 2015 deputy director general for operations.

De Mesa said they will present their report to the National Organizing Committee (NOC).

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“We (then) wait for their decision which we hope will come the soonest,” he added.

In a press briefing at The Ruins in Talisay City with Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella Thursday, De Mesa said their team is representing the Office of Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director general of the NOC, and also NOC chairman Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and co-chair Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario.

De Mesa said they visited Bacolod to see what it has to offer should it be decided that an Apec meeting will be hosted in the city.

“As far as we have seen, we are very thankful and we appreciate the organization that has been presented to us, the systematic collaboration between the local government and the private sector,” he said.

Prior to the Philippines, China is hosting the Apec Summit.

“The country will host all the Apec meetings as proposed to be held in the various parts of the Philippines, including Metro Manila. The whole Apec Summit will be highlighted by several senior officials’ meetings, working group meetings, several ministerial meetings and the highlight is the Apec economic leaders meeting in November of 2015,” De Mesa said.

He added that each of the proposed host cities would have their strengths, and one of the strengths of Bacolod is the organization and readiness of the public and private sector to really see a hosting of any meeting.

The NOC will decide which meeting Bacolod and other cities will host.

“What we see in Bacolod is that they have something ready. Others are still being built within the time frame when we will host Apec in 2015,” De Mesa said.

He also said that their comments should be treated as notes for improvement because the country is not only getting ready for an Apec Summit, but also needs to develop and progress in all aspects.

“If we want to be world class, it is not only Apec that can help us. It is also the experiences and the standards that we learn from other countries especially when they host international summits and conferences. All these things, we tell our hosts, are notes for improvement,” De Mesa said.

Puentevella said Bacolod is learning how to prepare for big conventions.

He added that hosting an Apec meeting will boost Bacolod’s tourism program and will help put Bacolod on the international map.

“We have the private sector that is helping us and it represents half the force of the city as far as this preparation is concerned. We shall overcome and succeed,” the mayor said.

Apec is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member-economies that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific Region.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 21, 2014.

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