Inform public about APEC, students urged

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva September 06,2015 - 12:17 AM

TO bring the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings closer to Cebu residents, the Provincial Information Agency (PIA) called on campus-based journalists to write about it and help the public understand what it is all about.

Undersecretary Jose Mari Oquiñena, PIA director general, encouraged them to “write about APEC, blog about it, and challenge the Filipinos to be competitive.”

“It’s important that we look at things in their possibilities and not in the moment,” he told 50 college students in Cebu during the first-ever students’ forum held at the APEC Activity Center at the Cebu Provincial Capitol.

The center was launched last Sept. 1 to respond  to the public’s need for APEC-related information.

The Activity Center in Cebu City is the only one of its kind among the host cities for the international event.

Among the participating schools were the University of Cebu-Maritime Educational Training Center (UC-METC), UC-Main Campus, Cebu Normal University (CNU), Southwestern University, CIT University and University of San Jose-Recoletos.

The participants are members of their  school publications.

Oquiñena said the public needs to look beyond their complaints about traffic and other inconveniences during the Cebu hosting of APEC meetings.

He said APEC is all about possibilities and a small country like the Philippines has a chance to become a key player in the global economy.

The Philippines is a founding member of  21-member  economies of APEC alongside the United States,  Japan, Canada, Australia and other developed and developing economies.

“We are now a key player in 40 percent of the world’s population because of APEC,” Oquiñena said.

This means that if  students write about APEC, it can be read by 40 percent of the world’s population., he said.

The students were given a four-page brief on APEC, updated for the Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) being hosted by Cebu from Aug. 22 to Sep. 8.
It includes the history of APEC and the rationale of APEC, among others.

The director general said he hopes to meet with more students  about APEC in the future, and  also  talk about other issues.

Rona Joyce Fernandez, a fourth year student at CNU and editor-in-chief of their school paper “Ang Suga,” admitted that she was indifferent to APEC at first.

“I was not for  or against it. Although some of us radical, we also still care about  our country,” she said.

As editor of her school publication, Fernandez said she believes that “to write is to choose.”

“If we stay objective, then we leave the decision-making to the readers. We cannot influence them. We are only eye-openers,” Fernandez said.

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TAGS: APEC, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Cebu

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