MANILA — Long-term advantages of the Philippines’ hosting of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings surpass losses it incurred.
This was stressed by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. Friday.
“Looking at (the) big picture, losses incurred this week will be recovered eventually in terms of continuing and sustained growth and development of the Philippine economy as a favored investment and tourism destination,” he said.
The government spent around Php 10 billion for its year-long hosting of the economic meetings, held in several areas like Metro Manila, Cebu, Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, Iloilo, Tagaytay, and Boracay Island.
Coloma explained that “good governance requires that decisions are based on what would be beneficial for the country and what would best serve our people’s long-term interest.”
He stressed that the government knows that “there will be differences in viewpoints and we are willing to engage all stakeholders in meaningful dialogue as well as consider suggestions for improvement.”
“Reasonable criticism is always welcome in a healthy democracy,” he said.
The government has receive flak from the people who were affected by heavy traffic following the road closures implemented to accommodate vehicles of the APEC delegates and world leaders as well as ensure their security.
Amidst these criticisms the government stressed that economic gains from hosting of the APEC Meetings more than compensate disadvantages experienced by some people.
Similarly, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said APEC provided its member-countries a venue to further enhance economic and trade relationships.
He noted that combined gross domestic product (GDP) of APEC member-countries more than doubled from the USD 15 trillion before its institution in1989.
Trade figures rose seven times to USD 21 trillion against the USD 3 trillion pre-APEC.
For the Philippines alone, the country’s exports rose more than 15 times because of stronger tie-up with APEC member-countries.
Purisima said the Aquino administration has prepared the country for more partnerships as it opened more than 90 percent of domestic economic activity to foreign investors.
Aside from economic gains, technical resource training and other similar support have been strengthened because of APEC, he said.
“The beauty of APEC is it gives us voice in important fora,” he said noting that eight APEC member-countries are G20 members.
“APEC is an opportunity to showcase why good governance is important for sound economy,” he added. Joann Santiago/PNA