All security and safety preparations have been laid down as the Philippines started today the hosting of the 51st Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting 2018 dubbed as “Manila 2018,” the Philippine National Police (PNP) disclosed.
In a press briefing in Mandaluyong City today, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the inter-agency security task force for ADB Manila 2018 went “full swing” in its security measures for the whole duration of the meeting. The high-level meet of economic and finance ministers and private business investors will last until May 6, with the meetings mostly at the ADB headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
“With the successful hosting of the recently concluded ASEAN meeting in the country, the major event security framework will be adopted to ensure a safe ADB meeting,” Albayalde said.
He said more than 7,500 cops were already deployed in key areas in Metro Manila to secure the safety of the ADB Board of Governors and about 3,000 delegates ,including 67 finance and economic planning ministers, international media, and other private business visitors.
He stated that all the security details of the foreign and local delegates will be handled by the PNP, being the lead of the inter-agency task force ADB Manila 2018.
“We understand that the foreign delegates will be bringing their own security team and we respect that. But they cannot dictate us on how we will provide security for them. This was how we did it during the ASEAN Summit,” he said, citing that they will be using a major event security framework as their guide for the ADB meet.
Albayalde added that the PNP has opened a multi-agency coordinating center which would “manage and monitor all movements of the delegates who will attend the meeting, based on the installed modern monitoring and communication equipment.”
As of Tuesday, about 41 delegates had already arrived, including 11 head of delegates (HODs) and 30 other delegates, Albayalde said.
No threats have also been monitored related to the ADB meeting, according to Metro Manila police chief Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan.
The meet is being hosted by the ADB and the Department of Finance, and the security task force ADB Manila 2018 is also composed of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Fire Protection, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, ADB, Ortigas Center Association Inc., and the local government units of Mandaluyong and Pasig cities.
Meanwhile, DOF Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato Jr., co-chair of the ADB Manila 2018 oversight committee, said the meeting is a great opportunity for the Philippines to showcase its economic plans and learn from other countries which have already strong economies.
One of the key points of the meeting is the Duterte government’s Build! Build! Build Program, Boncato said, and how it will improve the lives of the Filipino people.
“In the next several years, we will be investing at least $170 billion in interconnectedness. Conectivitity is going to be a major focus of the Philippine government,” he said.
“The reason we are doing that is because we want to bridge the gap among communities all over the Philippines and make sure that everyone has equal access to opportunities in terms of growth,” he added.
To name a few projects, Boncato said the national government is planning to build major railways in the country, one of which is the Mindanao railway, which will connect the most remote areas in Mindanao to other parts of the country.
The budget for the hosting of the ADB meeting is P80 million, he said.
This is the fifth time that the Philippine government hosted the ADB annual governor’s meet, with its last hosting in 2012, he added.