Davao left out anew

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

DAVAO City has been left out anew in hosting one of the biggest events in the country in 2015.

The city is excluded from the list of key areas all over the country to play host to Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2015 meetings that will kick off in December 2014.

A memorandum from Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr., dated July 22, reads that the areas approved to host the Apec 2015 meetings are Metro Manila; Bagac, Bataan and Clark, Pampanga in Central Luzon; Tagaytay City and Cavite in Calabarzon; Legazpi City and Albay in Bicol Region; Boracay, Aklan and Iloilo City and Iloilo Province in Western Visayas; and Cebu in Central Visayas.


The memorandum was addressed to organizers of the Apec 2015 meetings, including local government units concerned.

"As such, the Philippines has agreed to host the 2015 Apec annual meetings, which include the Apec Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and related meetings, the Apec Ministerial and Sectoral Ministerial Meetings and the Apec Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) from December 2014 to November 2015," the memo read.

It also reads that the office of the Executive Secretary will issue another memorandum with the final list of meetings to be hosted by each area.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato Jr. said the announced destinations are the "latest version" of venues for the high level or senior officials meeting but it is not final yet.
He said there are still "smaller meetings", such as working group discussions that will be held in the year-long event, that they have yet to be finalized.

He said Davao City might be one of the sites to be considered for these "smaller meetings".

In his Facebook account, Boncato posted a photo composed of five people, including him, with a caption "We're gearing up for the country's hosting of Apec 2015, officially kicking off in December 2014. Our lean and enthusiastic team is in charge of all tours in six host destinations: Legaspi, Clark, Bataan, Cebu, Iloilo and NCR. We're working to show the best we've got."

“Let's all rally behind the destinations chosen to show the best of the Philippines. We are and should be one,” he said.

"Now, more than ever, is the time to make tourism a major portal and platform to continuing peace. Let's all work hard to make this a mission fulfilled. The universal values of hospitality will compel us to provide just that. Let's conjure up an environment ideal for the world to travel to Mindanao. We are getting there," he added.

Meanwhile, Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, City Council chair for committee on tourism, lamented over the exclusion of Davao City as among the sites approved.

"It's quite unfortunate because Apec will open opportunities for Davao City," he told Sun.Star Davao.

He said these opportunities would include tourism and business from foreign investors.

The Apec Summit, which would include leaders from the United States, Japan and China, will be held in the country in November 2015.

The Apec leaders' meeting, said to be the biggest and most high profile annual gathering of world leaders from 21-member economies, will be hosted by President Benigno Aquino III before he ends his term in June 2016. (ANC with RJFL)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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