Gov’t to add more security, emergency staff for APEC meetings next month

By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA, Oct 28 (PNA) — The Philippine government will be adding more staff for security and emergency operations for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings next month, said Police Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan.

During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday, Gaerlan said the APEC Committee on Security, Peace and Order, and Emergency Preparedness is ready for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week (AELW) from November 16 to 20 where high level delegations from both public and private sectors of the 21 member economies will arrive in Manila.

Gaerlan, who is the Commander of Task Force Group on Peace and Order and Security, said there are around 20,000 security and emergency personnel to ensure security and convenience of APEC delegates during their stay in Manila for the concluding meetings of APEC 2015.

“We are still adding more members in our committee,” he said.

He added that the Committee is composed of 17 government agencies which include Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Health among many other offices concerned with security and peace and order as well as medical teams.

Gaerlan noted that the security preparations for the APEC meetings next month will be bigger than the visit of Pope Francis in the country last January.

As part of security and convenience of travelling APEC delegates, some parts of major thoroughfares will be closed to public and will be exclusively designated for APEC use.

APEC road advisories for AELW include the following:

●from Nov. 16 to 20, only APEC vehicles are allowed to use the innermost lane of EDSA;

●from Nov. 16 to 20, only APEC vehicles can pass the entire southbound lane of Roxas Blvd. The northbound lane, however, will be made two-way for non-APEC vehicles;

●from Nov. 16 to 20, roads will be closed around the CCP Complex area including Bukaneg St., Vicente Sotto St., Buendia Ave. Extension, M. Jalandoni St., and J.W. Diokno Blvd. Bridge;

●from 6 a.m. of Nov. 18, the following roads around Mall of Asia Arena will be closed including Diokno corner Seaside Blvd, EDSA corner Macapagal, Macapagal corner Coral Way, Macapagal corner Bradco, Coral Way corner Seaside Blvd., and Diokno corner Aseana;

●from Nov. 16 to 20, daytime truck ban will be implemented on the South Truck Route. Trucks can only use the roads from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. while a 24-hour truck ban will be imposed on Roxas Blvd. during the said week.

Gaerlan urged motorists to understand the government’s security preparations for APEC’s concluding meetings and are advised to take vacations and avoid going to Metro Manila.

He also added that the public should expect delayed and cancellation of flights during the said week.

Likewise, he said ongoing construction projects along major routes will be halted during the AELW.

The Department of Public Works and Highway was also asked to accelerate and finish all road constructions before the AELW to make sure safe movement of APEC delegates.

Gaerlan stressed that aside from APEC delegates which will mostly come from different parts of the world, the government will want to make sure of the security and avoid unnecessary inconvenience of the public.

The highlight of the AELW is the AEL Meeting from Nov. 18 to 19 where heads of nations or economic leaders of the 20 other APEC member economies will gather in Manila.

The Philippines is the host of APEC 2015 after China’s hosting last year and will be followed by Peru next year. (PNA)