Cebu likely to host ASEAN Summit again next year

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita March 16,2016 - 01:22 PM

Cebu might once again host the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit which will also be celebrating its 50th founding anniversary in the country next year.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Jess Anthony Yu said with Cebu’s successful hosting of several big international events since last year, there’s a possibility of holding the event in the province again.

“(The venue is) still being discussed. But again, there is a possibility that Cebu will be again one of the sites for the event,” Yu said during a press conference at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) 7 on Monday morning.

He said this will be part of the discussions of the Asean Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI) and the Asean Senior Officials Responsible for Information (Somri) which are in Cebu for a series of meetings that started yesterday until Thursday.

This will be the third time the Philippines is hosting the Asean Summit. The country last hosted it in 2007 wherein Cebu was one of the venues.

Yu said Cebu has proven itself capable of hosting big international events after successfully hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings last year and the 51st International Eucharistic Congress last January.

“Cebu has been the host of several international events. The most recent was the APEC meetings and the IEC. So Cebu has already been poised to be another international gateway outside of Manila,” he said.

Lapu-Lapu City is hosting around 100 to 120 delegates to the Somri and AMRI meetings from all ten member states at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.

Representatives from three dialogue partners – Japan, South Korea and China – will also be present.

Yu said although Cebu wasn’t the original venue for the meetings since usual protocol is to hold it in Manila, the Somri members were the ones who requested for a venue outside of the country’s capital.

“That’s why we came here as early as last year to determine the viability of Cebu hosting. We didn’t have a difficult time because Cebu has been host to several international events in the past,” he added.

The main agenda for the meeting is the shift to digital television among Asean member nations as well as information and media trainings and proposals for the Asean’s 50th year anniversary and the roles of the 10 member states in the celebration.

President Aquino has already issued an administrative order last February forming the Asean National Organizing Committee.

Yu said the AMRI and Somri meetings will also help boost tourism in Lapu-Lapu City and the entire province as its members are all information ministers.

“Since we would receive guests, they can see and have a firsthand experience of the preparations in Cebu. They can disseminate information about Cebu since they’ve experienced the place firsthand,” he said.

They have been coordinating with the Lapu-Lapu City government through Mayor Paz Radaza for the meetings.

Radaza said they’re thankful that Lapu-Lapu City has been chosen as the venue for the event adding that they’ve also hosted international events before.

The Lapu-Lapu City government, together with the Provincial and Cebu City governments is also preparing a tour for AMRI and Somri delegates so they get  to experience Cebu.

Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma will be the incoming chair of the AMRI taking over Myanmar.

Coloma will also be attending the meetings. He will also lead the reading of a joint statement after the meetings on Thursday.

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TAGS: ASEAN Summit, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Cebu, Presidential Communications Operations Office

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