Press Release
October 27, 2015

Gov't urged to issue comprehensive "land-sea-air travel disruption notice" for APEC

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto today urged the government to issue a comprehensive "land-sea-air travel disruption notice " which will be in effect "before, during and after" the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila next month.

"Such an advisory must be issued now so the public will be properly informed, and so, those affected can make the necessary adjustments to their travel plans," Recto said.

"Dapat ilabas na ito ngayon. Hindi pwedeng sabihing sa tamang panahon," he quipped.

"If many roads will be closed, then it can be the government's way of telling Metro Manilas to just stay at home, relax, and enjoy their six-day staycation," he added.

Malacañang has suspended classes in schools and work in government offices in Metro Manila from Nov. 17 to 20. The latter is a Friday, effectively stretching the break to six days.

The palace, however, has left to the private sector to decide whether or not it will also suspend work during APEC week.

Twenty one heads of Pacific Rim states or economies will fly in and out of Manila for the 27th staging of the APEC Leaders' Summit on Nov.18 and 19.

So far, only airline companies have announced cancellations, with Cebu Pacific calling off 234 domestic and 26 international flights from Nov. 16 to 20.

"But what about the major roads that will be closed to vehicular traffic? Or streets that will be partially closed or those with dedicated APEC lanes? Where will these be?" Recto asked.

"For example, there are at least five hospitals along or near Roxas Boulevard. If the heads of states will lay wreaths on the Rizal Monument will this road be closed, and when? If it will be, then those with scheduled elective surgery can probably reschedule," Recto said.

"Will roads leading to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport be closed to traffic? If yes, then when?" Recto added.

Traders with scheduled deliveries of goods will appreciate an early heads up, Recto said.

He said that the advisory may not be specific, "as there are security considerations which must be taken into account."

"What government can perhaps announce are the general areas and the days affected. Some details should be left out, I agree, especially those that will compromise the security of our guests. The important thing is the public is advised in advance to stay out of the affected areas," he said.

"If parts of a certain district will be virtually placed in a lockdown, then government can advise the public to expect heavy traffic or rerouting. Or better still, to forego nonessential in-city trips," he said.

Recto urged government to undertake a massive pre-APEC summit "information blitz" to rally citizens "to be good hosts and to bear the inconvenience of hosting the likes of Obama and Putin."

"There's little APEC buzz. We're throwing a fiesta for world leaders and it seems only a few of our people know about it. We're spending billions for a party and it's not generating any excitement," he said.

"What are the benefits of APEC? What are the dividends which we will derive out of hosting this meet? This should be explained to the people," Recto said.

What must be included in the publicity drive "are navigating tips for Metro Manilans on the week when large sections of their roads, air, and seas are closed to traffic," Recto said.

The government has also declared parts of Manila Bay as "no-sail, no-fishing" zones during the APEC summit.

News Latest News Feed