PH handled 2015 Apec meet with flying colors
To the credit of President Aquino, his Cabinet and aides, the Philippines emerged from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, which was successfully held at the Philippine International Convention Center last Nov. 18, with “flying colors.”
This was made possible by the tireless Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, the summit’s organizing committee led by Ambassador Marciano Paynor; Doris Magsaysay Ho, chair of the Apec Business Advisory Council 2015; Ayala chair and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala; art decor specialists who set the hospitable ambiance of the Apec meetings; the security forces who maintained peace and order; the hosting committees that served food during the breakfast and luncheon conferences, and the dinners; the entertainment organizers with their international and local artists and performers; the citizens who endured good naturedly the inconvenience of traffic detours; the forbearance of employees who lost some income due to the nonworking special holidays; the local media that coordinated with and played hosts to hundreds of foreign news reporters; the volunteer coordinators and the students who assisted in the computerized messaging; the street-sweepers who kept the places clean—all of whom performed creditably well.
Efficient police operation admirably stifled the attempt of a small group to draw public attention to their misguided opposition and political motives, which should have been aired by the representatives they have elected to Congress, the right venue for discussing with civility legitimate grievances.
The tab of P10 billion was a small price to pay for the worldwide honor, prestige and goodwill that our country gained from the affair—more so, that the funds paid for the facilities and services mostly went to local entrepreneurs. Other countries would be willing to spend twice that amount for the opportunity and honor to host the Apec.
Indeed, everyone who contributed in one way or another to making the affair a happy, fruitful and successful undertaking for all participants deserves the appreciation of the entire nation. They created before the eyes of the world a beautiful image of the Philippines as a safe and secure place for large gatherings and conventions, with amazing places to visit and enjoy, to boot, where hospitability is so natural.
It was 19 years ago when the Philippines hosted for the first time an Apec Summit. This led to a 5.8-percent economic growth for the country. It is hoped that this second hosting will result in a much higher growth.
Santiago A. del Rosario, MD, is a former president of the Philippine Medical Association.
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