City ready to host 2015 Apec summit

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014


MAYOR Rodrigo R. Duterte said Davao City is ready to host the 23rd Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in 2015, assuring that the city is "safe for everybody".

Although no official communication has yet been received from the Apec summit national organizing committee, Duterte said the city will be a best venue for the international meeting.

"I have yet to be officially notified. I know that there was this plan. The schedule was shown to us last year. But, whether or not to hold it in Davao City is something that we cannot control now," he told reporters in an interview at Marco Polo Hotel Tuesday evening.

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"As the host city, I think I have to do everything to make this place safe. A lot of foreigners will be in town. But in a scale of one to 10, if there is a threat, the response of the city-- the military and the police under me-- we would treat it at 10," he added. "We have to maximize the margin of safety."

Davao City has been shortlisted to host some events of the Apec Summit 2015 like the senior official meetings (SOMs) and ministerial meetings (MMs).

"We welcome the foreigners and we would like to assure them, if ever, the meeting will be held here, the city is safe for everybody. We are in Mindanao and we cannot escape the advisory, but I'd like to say that Davao City will be safe for everyone. You can walk around and nobody would bug you," he said.

Duterte was invited to attend a meeting with Apec officials in Metro Manila last week.

He said a lot of things were discussed and the board was zeroing in on the "terror threat" in Mindanao, where Davao City is located.

"We were asked to give our native structures how to fight terrorism. The generic thing there is to content explosion," he said.

He said most of the speakers during the meeting were experts on safety and security, discussing about "communication and strategy".

"Beyond that wala akong masasabi sa inyo. It was kept far from the media. Nobody was not allowed to go there. Again, I said I would rather err on the side of prudence. Ayaw kong magsalita. Mahirap," he said.

In a previous interview, Duterte was hesitant to hold the summit due to "safety, security and financial issues".

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 07, 2014.

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