Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. sits beside Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima during the World Economic Forum pre-meeting briefing in Makati, Thursday. Photo by Jonathan Cellona for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is all set to welcome more than 600 delegates from 30 countries scheduled to arrive for the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia next week.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said security measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of the participants, which include Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun, and President Benigno Aquino.
Purisima noted that the foreign delegates, mostly first-time visitors, will be given assistance as soon as they arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which is expected to be congested when the participants arrive.
“The good thing about our set-up in Manila is we have three terminals to distribute the load. Nevertheless, we will be working with the Department of Transportation and Manila International Airport Authority to assist the delegates,” he said at the WEF pre-meeting on Thursday.
He added that additional air-conditioning units will be used to address the poor ventilation at the airport.
The NAIA Terminal 1 is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
"We've augmented some units in the airport. Nevertheless, we do hope the participants will look at their experience in the Philippines in a very positive manner and look at all this ongoing work as a positive sign," he said.
The DOF chief even joked that some delegates are looking forward to the hot weather in the Philippines.
Purisima said government will be tapping the private sector for support during the three-day forum on May 21 to 23 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
He noted that the hosting will be an opportunity for government to showcase economic gains posted by the Aquino administration in the last four years.
“Economic growth highlights the importance that good governance plays in business, it creates a stable platform for long-term investments especially from the standpoint of foreign investors,” he said.
“The fact that they are going here for the first time is a very important signal that they recognize the potential of the country and the changes that is going on here,” he added.
More than 60 public figures representing over 20 countries will be joining the forum. China, however, will not be sending any representative to the forum.
This is the first time WEF has chosen the Philippines as the host for one of its meetings.