Press Release
November 22, 2023


The Senate has already set the stage for the 31st Annual Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) where parliamentarians from all over the region will talk about important matters relating to regional peace, prosperity and sustainability.

The Senate has been designated as the host for the preparations for the prestigious annual meeting of parliamentarians, along with the House of Representatives as co-host.

The event will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City from November 23 to 25.

Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri will lead the Philippines in welcoming parliamentarians to the international conference, which will be themed, "Building Resilient Partnerships: Advancing Peace, Prosperity, and Sustainability in the Asia Pacific."

"The Philippines is honored to open our doors for this Annual Meeting at this most important time of pandemic recovery, where resilient partnerships are crucial to the collective uplift of our people," Zubiri said.

Zubiri said that for the past 31 years, Asia-Pacific countries have enjoyed "notable economic successes and dealt with equally notable downturns."

"We have suffered through and survived various public health crises, particularly the SARS epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic; and we have been hit by and helped one another through typhoons, droughts, and earthquakes of mythic proportions," Zubiri said.

"What emerges today is an Asia Pacific brought together not only by geography but by shared realities, shared values, and shared goals--made stronger by our intergovernmental partnerships, including the APPF initiative," the Senate chief added.

As one of the APPF founding members, the Philippines, having sponsored the first meeting in 1994, will be hosting the APPF delegates for the second time.

Expected to join Filipino legislators are lawmakers from 18 countries, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mexico, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russian Federation, Thailand, and Vietnam.

A total of 273 participants from 18 countries, including observers, have registered for the forum.

The Head of Delegation of the Australian Parliament was the first to arrive on Saturday, November 18.

Zubiri said the Annual Meeting is an opportunity for forging resilient partnerships in the region, "so we can move forward as one, united in our aim of achieving lasting peace, prosperity, and sustainability."

Zubiri, who will be the keynote speaker, will chair the Executive Committee and the 31st Annual Meeting of the APPF, co-chaired by Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa and Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. will head the Philippine delegation.

Honorable Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, Senate President of the Parliament of Thailand, will speak on behalf of the previous host parliament.

A substantial number of officers and staff form part of the APPF 31st Annual Meeting Secretariat that will provide technical support to the delegates.

There are officers and staff assigned to be the welcoming group at the airport and liaison officers to attend to delegates' concerns.

Other government agencies are also helping the Senate mount this very important gathering of parliamentarians. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Immigration, the Philippine National Police, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Manila International Airpot Authority, Department of Health, National Museum and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority are all on board to provide assistance including visa issuance, airport arrivals, cultural tours, and security arrangements.

November 26 is allotted for the delegates to come and see the Philippines, or at least Metro Manila. The Senate is working with the DOT for destinations to showcase in one day.

DOT will also package some tours so the delegates can see the rest of the Philippines but on their own time and account. Tolentino will be hosting the tour in Tagaytay City.

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