September 14, 2015 – News Releases
|14 September 2015|
APEC News Release
|President Aquino inaugurates world-class Iloilo Convention Center|
|(ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday inaugurated a state-of-the-art convention center at the Iloilo Business Park in Manduriao District here.Built on a 1.7-hectare land donated by Megaworld Corporation, the P700-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) is envisioned to be an iconic landmark in the Western Visayas region, with its design inspired by the province’s Dinagyang and Paraw festivals.
Earlier, President Aquino also led the launch of the Iloilo Business Park and the opening of the 12-storey Richmonde Hotel, located in front of the convention center.
“Ito nga pong mga proyektong ito ang magsisilbing lunsaran sa lalong pag-unlad ng Iloilo bilang sentro ng komersiyo at turismo sa Western Visayas. Ang benepisyong hatid nito: Mas malawak na oportunidad para sa marami nating kababayan. Kitang-kita nga po ang napakalaking transpormasyon ng Iloilo: mula sa matamlay na probinsiya noon, talaga naman pong umaarangkada na ito sa pag-asenso at handa nang makipagsabayan sa iba pang mauunlad na lalawigan gaya ng Cebu,” the President said in a speech he delivered after touring the convention center with Senate President Franklin Drilon, Iloilo City Representative Jerry Trenas, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, and Megaworld Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Tan.
“Narito nga po tayo sa estrukturang patunay sa positibong bunga ng matuwid na pamamahala—ang Iloilo Convention Center. Tunay po itong maipagmamalaki ng mga Ilonggo. Bukod sa disenyo nitong hango sa inyong Dinagyang at Paraw Festival, kahanga-hanga din ang world-class nitong kalidad. Kaya naman doble ang ating pagsisikap upang di-magtagal, ay makilala at maipagmalaki din ito sa buong Pilipinas,” he said.
The President credited Senator Drilon for being the driving force behind the convention center and other infrastructure projects in the province.
“Isa lang po ang convention center na ito sa mga makabuluhang proyekto ng ating butihing Manong Frank. Nariyan din ang dinadayo ninyong Iloilo River Esplanade, ang na-groundbreak na nating Stage 2 ng Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project, pati na ang marami pang kalsada, tulay, imprastrukturang sinikap niyang mapondohan at isakatuparan, kasama na po ‘yung mga tirahan ng ating mga informal settlers. Tunay po: Sa legasiyang iiwan niya sa Iloilo, makikita ang pagkakaiba ng Daang Matuwid sa Daang Baluktot,” he said.
The ICC, which was designed by Architect William Coscuella and Associates, has seven function rooms and can accommodate some 3,700 people. It is managed by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), a corporate body attached to the Department of Tourism.
The center, which is eyed as a new site for local and international-level MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibits/Events), will host some of the side meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) starting on September 21 until October 6.
“Kongkretong halimbawa po itong Iloilo Convention Center na sa Daang Matuwid, ang pera ng bayan, napupunta sa taumbayan lamang. Ang halaga ng proyektong ito: P713.31 million. Layunin nitong maging sentro ng mga kumperensiya at pagtitipon, di lang sa inyong lungsod, lalawigan, at rehiyon, kundi maging sa mga karatig na rehiyon,” said the President.
“Ito nga po ang haligi ng ating estratehiyang pang-imprastruktura sa mga lalawigan gaya ng Iloilo. Sa pamamagitan ng mas maayos na mga daan at world-class na mga estruktura, mas marami ring turista ang mawiwiling bumisita dito. Ito namang pag-unlad ng turismo, direktang nakakalikha ng trabaho. At sa pagkakaroon ng higit na kakayahang paunlarin ang sarili, nakikiambag din ang mga mamamayan sa pag-unlad ng ekonomiya at ng lipunan. Siklo po ito ng pagbibigay-lakas sa bansa, sa komunidad, at sa ating mga Boss—ang taumbayan.”
President Aquino attributed the country’s transformation in the past five years to the people’s unity.
“Noong 2010, pinili natin ang tuwid, ang tapat, at makatwirang pamamahala. Klaro po na itong nakamit nating positibong pagbabago, kayo ang gumawa at ang patuloy na gumagawa,” he said.
“Sa nalalabing panahon ng ating panunungkulan, patuloy po nating isinasagad ang lahat ng ating makakaya upang maibsan ang pagdurusa ng kapwa, at mas mapabilis ang benepisyo para sa sambayanan. Bawat kalsada’t tulay na ating ipinapagawa, bawat negosyong nagbubukas at pinapalawak, bawat gusaling ating ipinapatayo, nais nating magdulot ng pangmatagalang ginhawa, sa mas nakakaraming Pilipino. Itinututok natin ang ating mga programa, hindi sa dikta ng politika o kursonada, kundi kung saan ito talagang kailangan,” the President said.
“Ang hamon at panawagan ko sa bawat isa: Ngayon at sa mga susunod na taon, sama-sama nating ipagpatuloy at payabungin pa ang mga ipinunla nating reporma; at taas-noo nating ipamana ito sa susunod na salinlahi,” he said.
The Iloilo Business Park is a 72-hectare integrated urban township, which is poised to be the biggest business and tourism hub in Western Visayas, with a P35-billion project investment over 10 years. Once completed, it will generate at least 40,000 jobs in the information technology – business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector in the region.
Also present at the ICC inauguration were Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Health Secretary Janet Garin, and the Liberal Party’s presidential bet Manuel Roxas II. PND (jm)
|President Aquino to meet with Trade Secretary Domingo this week|
|(ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday said he is set to meet with Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo this week to discuss the latter’s resignation.
“Actually, matagal na nagsabi si Secretary Domingo na gustong bumalik sa pribadong sektor. Ang latest ay mag-uusap kami sometime this week. Nag-submit na siya ng resignation pero ‘yung date ng effectivity ay hindi pa tiyak,” the President told reporters in an interview here.
President Aquino said that Domingo might leave after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
“Baka tatapusin muna ‘yung APEC, baka hanggang katapusan ng taon. Pero, again, mag-uusap kami this week. Nagtanong ako sa kanya (ng) rekomendasyon niya kung sino ang ipahahalili sa kanya,” he said.
The Chief Executive expressed his appreciation for Domingo’s efforts as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) chief, including the country’s hosting of the APEC Summit in November.
“We would like to thank Secretary Domingo for all of the work that he has done on behalf of the country. Iyong direct investments na 600-fold or 600 percent ang nilaki—sixfold, rather, ang nilaki; itong paho-host natin ng APEC and so many other things that have happened under his watch in DTI,” said the President.
“Ngayon, lahat itong mga ito, alam naman ninyo, matindi ang sakripisyo nang pumasok sa public service at matagal ko na rin na ina-announce sa inyo na mayroong tatakbo, meron namang pagod na rin na gustong bumalik sa pribadong sektor. Ang dulo nito nagpapasalamat ako kay Secretary Domingo na ‘yung kanyang pagpapaalam na-extend nang na-extend at lalo na dahil mag-ho-host nga tayo ng APEC,” President Aquino said.
“So, wala pa kaming pinagkasaraduhang kung anong petsa pero ‘yung inaasahan ko sa kanya na talagang hindi niya tayo iiwan … na ‘yung matindi pa ang pangangailangan sa serbisyo niya,” he added. PND (jm)
|Asia, Ph continue to be driver of global growth – IMF|
|LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – Asia, including the Philippines, would continue to be the driver of global growth, consistent with past International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections for a region of largely emerging economies.
“This region has the strength in terms of the interconnectedness,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa said in a press briefing on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) event held here.
The IMF recently said it sees downside risk to its most recent global growth projections, made in July. Revisions will be announced next month, Furusawa disclosed.
In the case of the Philippines, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies at a rate the IMF currently expects to be more than 6 percent this year, Furusawa and his colleague IMF director Odd Per Brekk both said growth prospects remain robust.
Meanwhile, Brekk noted that long-term prospects for growth in global economies are worsening, Still, conditions in advanced economies, at least, are favorable for a near-term pickup.
“The longer-term prospects in both advanced economies and emerging markets are more subdued than they were a couple years ago,” said Brekk.
He explained that in advanced economies, that reflects a combination of lower investment, unfavorable demographics and lower productivity growth. On the other hand, emerging markets face some of those factors in addition to the economic slowdown in China, for many a key export market, as well as an “adjustment going on in credit of the investment pools” and lower commodity prices.
Still, in the short term, Brekk said IMF sees a “slow pickup taking hold” in advanced economies due to easy financial conditions, less fiscal drag and lower energy prices.
The IMF officials pointed to healthy “fiscal and monetary space,” with a current account surplus and a reasonable level of foreign exchange reserves.
“In general we think it’s quite well-placed to manage the spillovers from global developments,” he said.
|Promoting women’s economic participation in PH and APEC|
|IN recent decades, there has been an economic transformation in many countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But it has not reached all people and more often than not, it is women who are left behind, all to our great disadvantage.
The International Labor Organization’s estimate that the Asia-Pacific region alone loses around $47 billion (roughly P2.19 trillion) a year because of limited female access to jobs and more than $16 billion (around P748.8 billion) a year due to poor female education is a stark reminder of what we all lose when inequities persist.
However, momentum has been building around the world for women’s economic empowerment. People have learned that the blueprint of successful economy, with a thriving private sector, in which women are equal participants, gives countries the best chance of increasing living standards. The link between women’s empowerment and prosperity is now well understood and starkly evaluated.
Still, promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girls around the world, including those living in the Asia-Pacific region, remained the biggest challenge at the present time.
Responding to this challenge is a priority for the Philippine government both in its domestic policies and its international advocacy and development programs.
In fact, the Philippines is Asia’s best performing country in closing the gender gap. It is the only country in Asia-Pacific that has fully closed gender disparity in education and health, according to the Global Gender Gap 2014 report of the World Economy Forum (WEF), released on October 29, 2014. At 9th place out of 142 surveyed countries, the Philippines was placed best in Southeast Asia.
The report measured gender inequality in four areas – Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Political Empowerment, and Health and Survival. The Philippines was second on the ability of women to rise to positions of leadership and enterprise, and has the highest percentage of firms with female participation in the ownership.
Domestically, the Philippines has made headway through legislative, regulatory and socio-cultural support for women’s economic participation.
However, the pursuit of women’s full participation in economic life requires much more than projects in the Philippine government’s broad agenda. As momentum gathers globally for women’s economic empowerment, this is also a critical juncture for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to place women’s economic participation centrally in its agenda.
Increasing women’s economic opportunities in the APEC region is grounded on the fact that women comprise half of the human resources of many economies and evidences show that economies do better when women are harnessed; it is a moral imperative and is a matter of fairness and equity; and women have the right to economic development.
The strong public-private partnership that characterizes its work, places APEC uniquely to promote women’s economic empowerment.
To increase women’s economic opportunities, the constraints and bottlenecks in their participation must be addressed by the national economies and in view of the trade liberalization regime, the common challenges must be addressed at the APEC level.
Women of APEC economies have the possibility of expanding women’s economic opportunities through practical measures. This include empowering women by globalizing their outlook; organizing women entrepreneurs in the formal and informal sectors, technical and vocational education, leadership and political representation, more attention to micro-entrepreneurs in the informal economy in order to scale up their enterprises; enhancing women’s enterprise competitiveness through innovation and capacity development in entrepreneurship; ensuring enterprise resilience and reducing vulnerability.
The previous year, China, as APEC host country, submitted a Tasking Statement which indicates the various work streams, actions required, responsible parties and time lines. In the field of Sustainable Growth with Equity, two specific areas of concern identified were women and SMEs. As indicated in the statement, actions required include 1.) Expanding women’s participation in the economy by creating an enabling environment through the development of gender-related structural reform measures, improving ICT training support, equal access to quality education and employment opportunities, and greater access to the market; and 2.) Prioritizing integration of gender considerations across APEC activities, acknowledging the cross cutting nature of women’s participation in the economy, including greater private sector engagement.
This week, from September 16 to 18, Manila will play host to the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) Management Council Meeting and the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy.
These meetings aim to come out with policy recommendations and strategies that would not only serve APEC 2015 purposes but could be used as inputs to the Philippine government’s future development planning, strategizing, and visioning exercises in a post-2015 scenario.
Through the APEC platforms, governments, private sectors and all stakeholders must work together to enhance the lives of girls and women, to increase their participation in economic and political fields to achieve gender equality and to eliminate any form of discrimination against women and girls,
APEC hopes to ensure that its public-private dialogues translate into tangible activity that makes a profound and enduring difference in the lives of our women and the health of our economies.
But despite the Philippines’ and APEC’s strong commitment and the commitment of every world government to address women’s issues around the world, it is still the women in every country who have to stand up, to raise their voices and to fight for their basic human rights.