Tag Archives: Cebu

APEC to benefit Filipino consumers

FILIPINO consumers can benefit from cheaper goods and services resulting from the implementation of trade-liberalizing and business-facilitating measures by member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Spokesperson of the APEC, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, said trade liberalization in the region, one of the main agenda of the APEC, is a policy decision usually involving the lowering of tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

APEC PH 2015 to media: Help us

TO raise public awareness about the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015, the event’s spokesperson Charles Jose on Thursday invited members of the media to visit , the official website of APEC Philippines 2015.
Jose, who is also the spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said that among the materials available on the site is the APEC Primer, which provides background information on the history, organization, achievements, and goals of the APEC.
He said the primer, which is available in a variety of local languages, including Cebuano, is crucial for understanding the context of the APEC meetings.

PH province to gain from APEC

ASIA-PACIFIC Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 Spokesperson Charles Jose on Thursday asked Cebuanos for more patience as Cebu hosts the 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings.
Jose, who is also the spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said during a media briefing here that as delegates discuss ways to strengthen trade and promote inclusivity in the Asia-Pacific region, some issues have come to their attention.
“Regarding road closures and extended truck ban hours, we ask for the patience and understanding of all those affected,” he said in a statement.

‘Healthy APEC 2020 Initiative’ seen

HEALTH ministers from the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are working to develop a roadmap for the implementation of a new initiative to promote a healthy Asia Pacific by 2020, to be endorsed to APEC Leaders this November.
“Implementation of this roadmap would go a long way to addressing the struggle we all are facing on infectious and chronic disease,” said Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin at the opening of the 5th APEC High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy held in Cebu City Sunday.
Garin said health ministers will endorse the roadmap and identify key areas where each of APEC member economy can take a lead in collective implementation.
The Roadmap for the “Healthy Asia Pacific 2020 Initiative” covers the critical success factors and immediate actions to ensure that the initiative is implemented in a meaningful, sustainable, cost-effective way to mitigate threats to the region’s people, trade and economic security.
DOH Undersecretary Kenneth Hartigan-Go said the roadmap covers critical areas, including prevention and control of priority diseases such as non-communicable and infectious ones.
“If we significantly cut them (diseases) down, it will then rebound to a healthy population. That will cut the cost of government expenditures as well as out-of-pocket expenditures,” Go said.
Meanwhile, Garin said other new initiatives the health ministers will endorse to APEC Leaders this November are those on infectious disease, chronic disease and fiscal implications of ill-health.
To address the cause of a number of infectious diseases which is the lack of a safe blood supply, she said the APEC members are working to launch the APEC Blood Supply Chain Partnership Training Network.
This will help build the capacity of laboratory managers and blood bankers and help them achieve international accreditation, she added.
Garin said they also target to launch a digital hub this year to promote innovative collaborations between governments, academia and the private sector on advancing mental well-being.
The APEC is holding its Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) and Related Meetings in Cebu until Sept. 6.

PH urges APEC to invest in health

DISEASES and illnesses cost the Philippines around 3 to 4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), highlighting the importance of investing in the health sector of the country and of other Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies in a bid to sustain economic development.
Peter Sheehan, research director at the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies in Australia, on Sunday cited the result of a study commissioned by the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) indicating the Philippine economic loss due to non-communicable diseases and poor mental health.
“The loss is currently about at 3-4 percent. We projected this to rise to about 6 percent by 2030, this is on the rising trajectory,” Sheehan said on the sidelines of a press briefing, noting these are just losses associated with absenteeism and presenteeism.
Health Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin underscored the need for member economies of APEC to promote good health in order to stimulate and sustain economic and social development.
“Good health allows citizens to reach their full productive potential, and the innovations that drive good health provide an economic return that is astounding,” she said at the opening of the 5th APEC High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy held in Cebu City.
Garin also cited the results of an earlier LSIF study that showed a return of $30 to $1 for investment in innovation and innovative approaches to maternal and child health.
The health chief thus urged APEC member economies to work and engage their budget and finance planners in their efforts to mitigate the social and economic effects of ill-health.
“Economic planning and finance communities look at health as a cost. I would like to put it that mental and physical well-being should be regarded as investments, without which will result in astronomical costs to governments, corporations and our citizens,” she added.
Garin believed that investing in health is critical for reducing poverty and promoting inclusive growth.
“As more people are forced to retire early because of ill-health, the economy will become less productive, social welfare budgets will be severely strained and our work to alleviate poverty will be undone rapidly as significant segments of the population are thrown back into poverty,” she noted.
For his part, DOH Undersecretary Kenneth Hartigan-Go said the Philippines is embarking on a plan to develope health facilities based on the needs of people in both rural and urban areas.
“…We got the sin tax law passed (so) there is now a quite substantive amount of money at the disposal of our health department and other government agencies to come together and develop a meaningful use of that money in order to bring better health outcome to our people,” he said.
The APEC is holding its Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) and Related Meetings here until Sept. 6.

‘Mental health a major player in economy’

PHILIPPINE Health Secretary Janette Garin highlighted on Sunday the important part that mental health plays in driving economic development in the Asia Pacific region.
In her keynote message during the opening the 5th High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy held in Cebu City, Garin said that mental health, like other chronic illnesses, is now being recognized in the region.
“Mental and physical well-being are now equal partners. Many mental health illnesses can be prevented, allowing a culture of mental wellness to emerge and flourish,” Garin said.
“I am very pleased that the Philippines is taking a leadership role this year in promoting mental well-being. APEC has a very robust and innovative agenda to promote mental health and reduce stigma.”
APEC’s mental health meeting in Manila on August 25 assessed the needs and priorities of economies and paved the way for the launch this year of a digital hub to promote innovative collaborations between government, academia, and the private sector to address those needs, she added.
APEC member economies have a job to do, she said noting they must engage their finance and budget planners in their effort to mitigate the social and economic effects of ill health to society.
While economic planners regard health as cost, Garin said she believes giving attention to mental and physical well-being should be considered as investment.
Failing to do so would mean astronomical costs for the government, corporations and the people.
She pointed out that as more people are forced to retire early because of poor health, they become less productive and it impacts in a country’s economy.
Social welfare budget will be severely strained and government initiatives to overcome poverty will be compromised, she added.
Aside from mental health, among the chronic illnesses that pose major challenges to APEC economies include musculoskeletal and cardio vascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
These diseases, she said, strip the people of their enjoyment of life, their families and their working potential.

Trade with APEC to rise over 6.8%, says PH

THE Philippines, which plays host to Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this year, sees its trade with 20 other APEC member economies increasing by over 6.8 percent annually, to about $109.62 billion in 2015.
Ambassador Ma. Angelina Sta. Catalina on Sunday said the country’s hosting of APEC widens opportunities for increased regional trade in goods and services, specifically intra-APEC trade, including global trade.
Sta. Catalina cited a trend indicating Philippine trade growing by about 6.8 percent every year since its APEC membership in 1989.
“So if there has been an improvement in our trade figures as a consequence of APEC, then we are looking forward to more increased trade because of the kind of initiatives that we are undertaking in the various discussions,” she said in a press briefing.
The ambassador said Philippine total external trade with APEC members reached $ 96.104 billion, or 80.7 percent of the country’s entire trade, in 2013.
Philippine exports amounted to $ 47.63 billion, or 84 percent of the country’s total exports to the world; while imports reached $ 48.47 billion or 77.7 percent of the total imports.
“We do have a balance trade here (APEC) in our favor… There is a lot trade that takes place among different APEC economies,” added Sta. Catalina.
Apart from increased trade opportunities, she said the Philippines is also benefiting from APEC’s hosting through increased investment funds.
“These are funds that will fuel our national capacity to develop our human capital, to improve our physical infrastructure and to further assist and develop financial and economic enterprises, in other words our SMEs (small and medium enterprises), which we see as our engines of growth,” she added.
Cebu City is hosting the 16-day APEC Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) and Related Meetings until Sept. 6.
Following the SOM are two Ministerial-level meetings: the Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (SRMM) on Sept. 7-8 and the Finance Ministerial Meeting (FMM) on Sept. 9-11. The meetings will be chaired by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF), respectively.

PH launches app for APEC delegates

THE provincial government of Cebu in Central Philippines, in partnership with Smart communications, has released the updated travel application Cebu Guide to give the delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Cebu a handy guide to the top attractions of the province.
Made available by InnoPub Media and mobile leader Smart Communications (Smart) in partnership with the Cebu provincial government, the mobile app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store for Android devices and Apple App Store for iOS. The app can also be downloaded from apps.myguide.ph/cebu/.