MANILA–Due to the threats of typhoon Ruby that enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this week, the government announced on Wednesday the transfer of the Informal Senior Officials Meeting (ISOM)of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) this weekend from Legaspi City to Manila.
The ISOM was supposed to be held from Dec. 8 to 9, 2014 at the Oriental Hotel in Legazpi City. Ochoa said ISOM will proceed as scheduled in another venue in Manila.
“While this is highly unfortunate, we have deemed it best to err on the side of prudence and ensure the safety of the delegates,” said Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. via Global Post, adding that the transfer of venue would also allow the local government of Legazpi and Albay to focus on the necessary actions to be taken in light of the coming typhoon.
Ochoa added that the decision to move the venue was made after consultations with the APEC 2015 National Organizing Committee, Albay Governor Joey Salceda, and other stakeholders.
For his part, Albay Governor Jose Salceda said the “loss” of the opportunity to host the APEC ISOM is not a loss for the province.
“I am always optimistic there will be future opportunities for Albay to show the international community what it can do regardless of any threats of disasters,” Salceda said via GMA News.
“God giveth, God taketh it away. Albay will just move on from this towards new opportunities. No excuses. No blaming. No weeping, we bury our dead and embrace the living. No sayang because we learned a lot and got exposed to complex challenges. Albay always a winner,” he said.
“One step backward, two steps forward, there are no such thing as missed chances, only bigger opportunities,” he added.
Meanwhile, administrator Alexander Pama of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said earlier on Wednesday that he would recommend the postponement of the meeting.
“Prudence dictates that we be cautious. Based on the weather situation, let’s not put our guests in danger,” Pama said via Inquirer.
The ISOM is expected to draw around 400 participants, including 31 speakers. (CARLENE MADGE MORANTTE, LNU INTERN)