Thursday, November 19, 2015
I honestly and sincerely wished for a successful hosting of APEC2016.
I didn't agree with those who thought that the country had very little to gain from being host. To begin with, I didn't think passing off on the opportunity was a wise option; it would have been like admitting we were not in the same league as the other countries. Globalisation is far
However, I did think that holding the summit in Manila was a wrong move on the part of the Aquino administration. I get it - the summit had to be held in a city with adequate facilities to house the various heads of states. The last time APEC was held in the country, President Ramos built villas for each of the heads of states inside Subic (the villas were later rented out). If we stuck to the template we could have brought development to places like General Santos City, or Tagbilaran City, or Tacloban City, or even Puerto Princesa City. Actually, I think APEC2015 could have been held in the island of Mactan in Cebu Province- I think there are enough hotels in the island, or they could have included Mandaue City. They could have contained all the activities in one place.
But then, as we all know, there's really no arguing with the bright boys of the Aquino administration who happen to think that they have a monopoly of both good intentions and brilliance. So we did it in Manila.
We all knew what happened.
The major lesson learned was how not to host a major conference such as the APEC.
Of course APEC 2015 also highlighted the following:
1. President Aquino's fixation on heaping blame on his predecessor confirms what everyone has long suspected - it's personal. There's just no other explanation. It's been almost six years and he continues to stick to a script that's quite stale and dated. The funny thing is that while he blamed GMA for supposedly not doing what "he did," he went to town singing paeans to a program (the 4Ps) that he claimed has been very successful. There's just one little issue: the 4Ps Program was started out during the GMA administration - in fact, even Dinky Soliman has said on record that GMA DSWD Secretary Espie Cabral is to be credited for the 4Ps program.
2. The APEC may be an occasion for high-level discussions on economic issues, but for many Filipinos, it was just another showbiz affair. The insane attention given to the two heads of states with movie star looks was unbelievable!
3. It may be 2015 and social media might already have replaced other channels for political expression, but there's nothing like a real mass action to dramatise political protest. There were less militants on the streets riling against APEC and capitalism and foreign domination, but their message came out loud and clear, although not necessarily emotional affecting.
4. We're truly a people with great capacity for forgiving rank inefficiency on the part of our leaders. There's just no way to explain how people actually put up with the way our leaders disregarded in such a wanton and cavalier way the welfare of millions of Filipinos in Metro Manila with all that last minute road closures!