MANILA (Mabuhay) – For President Benigno Aquino III, 2015 is a “pivotal” year for the Philippines, as the government would have a chance to project the country in the international arena, while preparing to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation-World Leaders’ Summit in November.
In his message on Wednesday to newly designated diplomats to the Philippines, Aquino said 2015 will be an opportunity for his administration to showcase its gains to the world.
“2015 is a pivotal year. We have already welcomed the first batch of delegates for APEC 2015, and we will continue welcoming guests and dignitaries from all over the world, all of whom will be able to personally witness the large-scale positive transformation of our country,” the President said.
Also, Aquino assured the envoys he will continue his reform programs as his presidency draws to a close.
Moreover, he said “2015 also provides another excellent opportunity for us to strengthen the gains of reform, explore avenues of cooperation, and… reinforce our ties with partners and friends both at home and abroad.”
The Philippines has started hosting events leading to the high-level APEC meeting in November.
This year’s summit will focus on “building inclusive economies,” which echoes the Aquino administration’s push for inclusive growth.
Some 11.4 million families considered themselves poor by the end of 2014, based on a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
Over 2.4 million Filipinos meanwhile remain jobless, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.
Visit PHL in 2015
Aquino also enjoined diplomats to explore the Philippines while serving their tours of duty in the country.
The President touted the Philippines as a “home to a creative, dynamic, and talented people.”
“During your stay in our country, it is my hope that you will find the time to unwind for a while, to experience the hospitality and generosity that my people are known for, and to personally discover why it is indeed more fun in the Philippines,” he said.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) earlier declared 2015 as “Visit the Philippines Year,” as the country aims to attract more foreign tourists to the country.
The following ambassadors-designate presented their credentials to Aquino during the event:
Roberto Sebastian Bosch Estevez of Argentina,
Rolando Guevara Alvarado of Panama,
Maria Christina Theresia Derckx of the Netherlands,
Marthinus Nicolass Slabber of South Africa,
Daniel Owassa of the Republic of Congo,
Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat of Nepal, and
Geoffrey Keating of Ireland. (MNS)