Cebu to host energy confab

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva November 12,2014 - 12:31 AM

Mayon threat prompts organizers to drop Albay as Apec ministerial meeting host

The imminent threat posed by Mayon volcano has prompted organizers to move one of the ministerial meetings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) to Cebu.

The 12th  Energy Ministerial Meeting (EMM) will be held from Oct. 12 to 14, 2015  at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa. An estimated 500 delegates are expected to attend the ministerial meeting which is expected to include several breakout sessions.  Last year’s EMM was held in Beijing, China.

Albay – home to the Tiwi geothermal plant – was initially being primed to host the EMM with Cebu as an alternate venue.

The geothermal plant in Albay would have been showcased in the EMM as according to the International Geothermal Association (IGA), the Philippines ranks second to the United States in producing geothermal energy.

With this development, focus will now shift to Cebu’s power generating capacity. The province hosts two coal-fired power plants in Toledo City and the City of Naga.

Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson was in Cebu yesterday and met with Gov. Hilario Davide III at the provincial capitol where the official emphasized the need to tighten security for the EMM.

“We need tighter security, for these are energy ministers from 21 APEC economies. There has to be security in land, water, and air,” she told reporters after emerging from the meeting.

Also in the meeting were: Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and officials from the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) and the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), among others.

Ayson said that security plays a big role in ensuring the success of the event. She requested for the support and cooperation of the provincial government officials.

“It was promised to us that they will do everything to make the event successful,” she said.

The three-day event features several different meetings including that of senior officials as well as a dialogue between the energy ministers and business leaders.

An international energy exhibit and conference will also be held simultaneously with the meetings.

By the end of the event, the ministers are expected to come up with decisions and agreements in a document called the “Cebu Ministerial Declaration.”

Ayson said that the implementation of the declaration will go through a long process since a series of consultations will still be held throughout the country to ensure that the national agenda will be taken into account.

Senior Supt. Conrado Capa, deputy regional director for operations of PRO-7, said they have already started preparations way before the announcement that Cebu will host the EMM after they were told by Camp Crame of the possibility that the province will take over the hosting chores due to the unstable situation in Albay which has been on alert for the possible eruption of Mt. Mayon.

Work on the security scheme had started early when the threat of Mayon Volcano erupting prompted Albay Gov. Joey Salceda to consider giving up the hosting chores.

“The national headquarters tasked us to prepare just in case they decide to really move it. Our plans are based on the security template of the APEC organizing committee,” Capa said.

He added that the major areas of concern are airport security, site security, convoy security package, and crowd control.

Although no specifics were made yet, Capa said that a security plan already exists.

With three ministerial meetings set to be hosted by Cebu from September through October next year, Davide said that the arrival of foreign delegates will prove to be beneficial to the economy of the province.

“Dakong dungog ni sa Cebu. This is an opportunity for us to attract investors,” he said in a press conference yesterday.

Believing that some of the delegates might bring along their families, Davide is convinced that the more these tourists spend, the better it is for the province’s economy.

The provincial government will host the opening dinner during the 12th EMM.

“Ato gyud nang pangandaman,” he said.

The provincial government has already held preliminary meetings with the private sector and concerned government agencies.

The governor added that 60 employees from the provincial capitol as well as the city governments of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue, underwent protocol training with the Foreign Service Institute in preparation for the Apec meetings.


Related Stories:

Sinulog, Apec events to bring tourists back

CICC dropped from list of Apec venues in Cebu


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TAGS: APEC, Cebu, Cebu City, Mayon
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