MANILA — The director-general of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 National Organizing Council (NOC) on Monday asked for public understanding for the security measures being undertaken to prepare for the APEC Leaders’ Summit next week.
Ambassador Marciano Paynor, Jr. said the security considerations for the leaders’ meeting this year is the most challenging aspect of hosting the APEC.
“The challenges are twice or three times more (compared to the 1996 hosting),” Paynor said during a press briefing in Malacañang.
“More than anything else, there are security considerations. ‘Yun ang hinihingi namin na pang-unawa ng ating mga kababayan na bisita natin sila, kailangan natin silang pangalagaan.”
He noted that the security threats against some of the 21 leaders of the APEC economies are not domestic, but external.
Compared to the security measures undertaken during Pope Francis’ visit to Manila in January this year, the NOC director-general said pressure for the APEC preparations is “much more”.
The security consideration, he added, is at the “highest level”.
During the briefing, Paynor sought public understanding during the leaders’ meeting on November 18 to 19 because of the expected heavy traffic in certain parts of Metro Manila.
The government has appealed to the public to avoid closed roads and follow rerouting schemes during the leaders’ week.
Paynor said that despite the challenges and the pressure to keep the meetings secure, it is high time for the Philippines to host another APEC meet.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has just confirmed attendance to the APEC meet, following the confirmations by US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among others.
There is an expected 10,000 delegation coming to Manila for the APEC leaders’ week. PNA