Palace appeals for patience, cooperation amid Apec preparations
Malacañang Palace has appealed for more patience and cooperation from the public amid the ongoing preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Nov. 16 to 20, which is expected to affect flights, business, traffic and other daily activities in the metropolis.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte on Wednesday said it is the Philippine government’s duty to ensure the safety and security not only of the heads of states of top economies but all international delegates.
“Humihingi po kami talaga ng pasensya at ng inyong kooperasyon. Tingin ko lahat naman po tayo gugustuhing maidaos nang maayos ng pamahalaan ang darating na APEC Summit at umaasa po tayo sa inyong kooperasyon. Kaya inagahan po namin talaga ‘yung information para makapagplano po tayo. So umaasa po tayo na magiging maganda rin po ‘yung pagtanggap,” Valte told reporters in a press briefing.
“We understand that, yes, there will be complaints; yes, there will be negative reactions, but we know that it’s part of what we must do,” she added.
As a safety measure, several roads in Metro Manila will be closed to traffic on Nov. 16 to 20 during the Apec summit. But citing the traffic operations during Pope Francis’ visit in January, Valte assured the public that alternate routes for motorists will be reliable.
“Mayroon po tayong mga inilatag na alternate route na pwede po nilang daanan instead of using Roxas (Boulevard). Ano naman po ito, nasubukan na po natin ito noong dumating si Pope Francis, so sinigurado na rin po ng MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) at ng DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) na ‘yung mga alternate route na ito ay talagang madadaanan,” she said.
As to those who are planning to hold protests, Valte stressed that necessary permits must first be secured from local governments.
“Halos ganoon din po ‘yung in-a-anticipate nating mga isyu na ni-re-raise nitong mga grupong ito. So ang naiintindihan po natin diyan is that they’re more or less the same issues that they will talk about. When it comes to the rallies, the same rules will apply. They will have to get a permit from the local government in the locality where they intend to conduct their protest action,” she said.
Valte said the country’s hosting of the Apec summit is an opportunity to show the rest of the world what the Philippines has become through the years.
“Isa itong magandang pagkakataon na maipakita ng Pilipinas kung ano na ‘yung sitwasyon dito sa atin ngayon. Siyempre, iba ‘yung naririnig ninyo sa news, iba ‘yung nakikita mo in person. So we have come full circle. Our last hosting was 1996 and marami hong involved in the APEC organization na huli pa ho tayong nakita 1996 pa. Tingin ko mas maganda na po ‘yung makikita nila pagbalik po nila ngayong 2015,” Valte said.
Valte said a “good number” of heads of states have already confirmed their attendance, including the United States, Russia, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico and Chile. The Chinese president has yet to confirm his attendance, but Valte said “there are no indications that he will not go.”
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