Top PH tourist spots vie to host 2015 APEC side meetings

by Lois Calderon, ANC

Posted at May 28 2013 06:07 PM | Updated as of May 29 2013 07:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Metro Manila and at least 9 of the country's top tourist spots are making a pitch to become the venue for the sideline meetings of the APEC Summit, which the Philippines will be hosting in 2015.

Local officials from Cebu, Tagaytay, Clark, Subic, Albay, Iloilo, Bacolod, Boracay and Davao all are trying to convince the National Organizing Council that they will be an ideal host.

The council was created by President Benigno Aquino in November last year to manage the preparations for the APEC meetings.

Among the criteria set by the council in choosing the sites are infrastructure, security, disaster preparedness, power supply stability, cleanliness and culture.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Relations and APEC Secretariat Laura del Rosario says hosting the summit would be an extra "catalyst" that would accelerate the Aquino government's infrastructure program, since key transportation like airports, expressways and roads need to be ready by 2015.

Some of the government's public private partnership projects are located in cities that have made a pitch like Cebu, whose airport project is up for bidding later this year.

The council is expected to announce its final roster of sites for the Senior Officials Meetings and Sectoral Ministerial Meetings next month.

Local government units got backing from people like Iloilo-born Senator Franklin Drilon who was there when Iloilo made its presentation before the APEC organizing council.

Drilon said hosting the APEC sideline meetings would bring in business and more tourism to Iloilo.