WPS situation will 'definitely' be discussed in APPF31, says Zubiri

By Wilnard Bacelonia

November 22, 2023, 6:46 pm

<p>Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri <em>(Screenshot from Senate Youtube livestream)</em> </p>

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri (Screenshot from Senate Youtube livestream) 

MANILA – Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri confirmed on Wednesday that the situation in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) is among the issues to be discussed in the 31st Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF31) to be hosted by the Philippines from Nov. 23 to 25.

But, Zubiri clarified that the Philippines, as a good host, will be "diplomatic" in its approach during discussions.

"Definitely, it will be tackled in a committee. But as host, of course, kasi kasama din yung China, they're sending a delegation, ayaw naman nating magkagulo (because China will also be there, they're sending a delegation, we don't want to mess things up). We're trying to promote peace and stability and we'd like to make that a general theme of this conference," Zubiri said.

He said the APPF31 would focus on discussions related to political and security matters, economic and trade, regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region, and special discussions among women and young parliamentarians.

"We're hopeful that over the next three days, we will be able to collectively form concrete steps forward as we all work towards shared prosperity in the region," Zubiri said.

The APPF is a multi-lateral parliamentary forum between 28 member-countries in the Asia-Pacific Region covering Southeast Asia, Oceana, North Asia, and the Americas where parliamentarians come together to discuss and form agreements over shared concerns and interests in the region.

Zubiri also warned motorists to brace for heavy traffic near the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and Makati City.

He said they are expecting around 300 foreign delegates from 28 member-countries to attend the event. (PNA)