DAVAO CITY – A government official said the P10 billion budget allotted for the Philippine hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) “is a moderate figure and less than the expected expenditure.”
Marciano Paynor, Jr., director general of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Council (NOC), said the amount is “very decent” and “something we actually need”.
The NOC was created for the country’s hosting of this year’s APEC, a forum promoting free trade and economic cooperation among 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines is a founding member of the APEC.
Paynor said the P10 billion budget went to the hosting of at least 47 meetings from January until November 13 to 19.
He also argued that the fund was not used to acquire new equipment prior to the start of the meetings.
Paynor said that the P10 billion budget came from the 2014 and 2015 budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) international commitments fund. He said the amount “is an investment that stems from the Philippines’ membership in multilateral forums like the APEC”.
He further said that the Philippine government needs to ensure the security of the visiting 20 leaders and heads of states coming to Manila for the meeting, and preparations for this will cost a significant amount.
“We have to be ready. We have to prepare,” Paynor said. (davaotoday.com)