DOT chief: Cebu should make a bid to host Apec 2015 meetings-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Thursday, March 21, 2013
AS the Philippines prepares to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in 2015, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez hopes Cebu will make a bid to host the leaders' summit.
Jimenez, who was in Cebu attending a business forum hosted by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), said Cebu is one of eight places in the country being considered to host meetings for the Apec Summit.
Although it is the leaders' summit that is considered the biggest highlight of the Apec event, Jimenez said there will be several meetings with foreign ministers and other organizations. If Cebu will not be chosen to use the leaders’ summit, it can host the other meetings, he added.
Jimenez said they will need more than one place to host the event as they do not want everything to be concentrated in Manila or Cebu.
He said that whatever province gets to host any of the meetings gets the committed support of the National Government.
Whatever provinces plan to do to win the bid, Jimenez warned that any plans and preparations made should be in line with an area's development strategy and that any structures built will be beneficial to a province even after the Apec Summit is over.
He said President Benigno Aquino III does not want to see any white elephants after the summit concludes.
"It is important we do not plan anything we cannot sustain," Jimenez told reporters.
Whoever wins the bid will benefit from infrastructure support, he said, adding that the government may speed up bidding processes for planned infrastructure projects, such as the expansion of the Mactan Cebu International Airport terminal, in preparation for the summit.
The government hopes to make a decision by April so that preparations can begin right after.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 22, 2013.