Exec. Sec. Ochoa thanks Salceda, Legazpi officials for preparing for APEC-ISOM

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. thanked Albay Governor Joey Salceda and local officials of Legazpi City for their tireless efforts in preparing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation - Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting (APEC-ISOM), which was moved from the city to Manila due to the onslaught of Typhoon ‘Ruby.'

Left: Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa; Right: Albay Gov. Joey Salceda
"We thank Albay’s tireless governor, Governor Joey Salceda, as well as the local government officials of Legazpi City, for all the work they put in to prepare for the ISOM," Ochoa said during his opening remarks at the two-day event being held in Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City on Monday.

He said that as the province braced for the storm, it was prudent for the provincial government of Albay, which has been internationally recognized for its accomplishments in disaster risk reduction and management, to focus on the preventive actions they needed to undertake in the wake of the typhoon.

He noted that had the APEC-ISOM participants seen Legazpi City, they would have been very impressed.

Ochoa also asked the delegates to the meeting to join the Filipino people in prayer, as the people in the Visayas, parts of Mindanao, and the Bicol region are feeling the effects of Typhoon ‘Ruby.

"Our thoughts and prayers go to them, and to the men and women who have been mobilized to ensure their safety," he said.

Despite the weather disturbance, Ochoa said there are bright prospects for the APEC and its 21 member economies, due in part to the chairmanship of the previous host, China.

“Under China’s chairmanship, the APEC’s strategic relevance in the region has been advanced, as embodied in the 2014 APEC Leaders’ Declaration,” he said, adding that the Philippines will strive hard to build on these gains as it hosts APEC 2015.

The Philippines last hosted the APEC in 1996. Next year's summit has for its theme "Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.” (PCOO)
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