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Statement of APEC Spokesperson Charles Jose on the SOM2 and MRT meetings in Boracay

Boracay, The Philippines, May 15, 2015–Following last December’s Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting (ISOM) and the First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) held at the Clark and Subic Freeport Zones, APEC delegates have once again gathered to discuss regional issues at the Second Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings (SOM2) and the Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Boracay, Aklan. The SOM2 meetings run from May 10-21, while the MRT meeting is slated for May 23-24. Over 1,500 delegates have so far registered for the meetings.

The APEC National Organizing Council (APEC-NOC), in bringing this influx of visitors to Boracay, remains firmly committed to encouraging responsible tourism. Along with the DILG, DND, PNP, AFP, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine Coast Guard, as well as local government officials, the APEC-NOC led a clean-up drive along the island’s shores on May 13. The next coastal clean-up drives, led by the local government, are scheduled for today and May 18. We invite other tourists and locals to join and help preserve Boracay’s natural beauty.

This forms part of our overall effort to reduce our carbon footprint. Since last year, we have been advocating for the use of less paper throughout the Philippine hosting of APEC, encouraging agencies and LGUs to instead circulate information through email and social media. In addition, we have partnered with EMotors Inc.—a Filipino-owned company and the APEC 2015 green electric mobility partner—to set up an e-trike system to transport delegates between venues in Boracay.

In arranging all logistical preparations for APEC, we remain aware of conservation issues. As such, we are taking steps to set an example and ensure that as we facilitate dialogue toward the mitigation of climate change and other issues, we are also undertaking efforts to protect our local environment.

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