MANILA, Philippines – With at least two years before the country hosts the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in November 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has already shortlisted nine places throughout the Philippines where the meetings of delegates from 21 countries in the Pacific rim will be held.
The places are Clark, Metro Manila, Tagaytay, Legazpi City, Iloilo City, Boracay, Bacolod City, Davao City, and Cebu City, DFA Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura Q. Del Rosario told reporters in an interview.
“These are the locations that are under serious consideration. [They] were reviewed as having passed the initial requirements [and will be subject to] further evaluation,” she said.
Among the initial requirements for the cities to be able to host the many meetings of delegates are access and accommodations.
“The locations must have airports and should be within one hour commute from the hotel and convention center,” Del Rosario said.
Some of the meetings would be attended by hundreds of participants and this will require that the convention center must have enough space to sit them all together and the hotels there must also have sufficient rooms.
There are around eight ministerial meetings, four senior officials meetings, and then the highlight APEC summit.
Del Rosario said that instead of just assigning which Local Government Units (LGUs) will host the meetings, they asked them to submit proposals and justify why they should be chosen as a host.
“The cities themselves want to show off their unique culture to the delegates,” she said.
Among the preparations that have to be ready are the cultural presentations, souvenirs and local delicacies that will be served to the guests.
The preparations of these shortlisted cities will be reevaluated “at least three times a year” to ensure that they are fully ready to receive the delegates come 2015, del Rosario said.
If ever one LGU was found to be not yet ready two months before the summit, they will select another city as host.
Del Rosario estimates that the final selection of cities would be out sometime from June to September 2014.
The DFA was working closely with the Department of Tourism, Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Local Government, and the National Commission for Culture and Arts, among others.