Hagupit's first casualty: APEC meet in Albay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2014 08:03 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2014 07:44 AM

PH transfers APEC informal meet to Manila

MANILA - The National Organizing Committee on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will transfer the informal senior officials meeting (SOM) from Albay to Manila because of Typhoon Hagupit.

Hagupit is expected to make landfall Saturday morning. The event is on December 8 and 9.

Speaking to ANC's Top Story, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda admitted that the committee had to make an immediate decision on whether or not to transfer the venue since at least 400 people are expected to attend the meetings.

Most of the delegates are expected to arrive this Saturday and Sunday, he said.

"At the end of the day, they have to make a decision and just transfer the venue. They also have to set up in Manila. Darating na po yung mga naka schedule na flights ng mga 400 people," he said.

He said that while he tried to make a case to wait a day until making the decision, he said it would be difficult to invite the delegates to go to a location that could be affected by rains brought by Hagupit.

He added that Albay had been preparing for the event for two years.

"You consider the market, which is the APEC participants," he said.

"It's a missed chance pero marami naman kaming natutunan."

He also said the provincial government is already preparing for the typhoon, which is expected to make landfall on Saturday.

Ambassador Marciano Paynor earlier said around 400 delegates from APEC member-countries was set to attend the informal meeting in Albay.

He added this meeting is very crucial for the entire APEC summit in the Philippines, as it will set the tone of the whole summit.

Paynor said the whole APEC member-economy has a total 2.7 billion population, and the the total trade among all 21 members is 18.8 trillion US dollars, which is 45 percent of the total global economy.

In the Philippines, exports flourished to 7.8 percent or a total of 78.8 billion US dollars from 1989 until 2012 partly because of its membership in APEC.