CEBU CITY – The first batch of delegates attending the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) meetings arrived in Cebu on Thursday as security officials placed the entire Central Visayas region on full alert for the meetings that will begin on 22 August.

Delegates from Mexico and the United States arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport for the the 3rd APEC Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM) and Related Meetings that are scheduled to be held in Cebu from August 22 to September 11.

Some 3,200 delegates are expected to attend the summit.

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has deployed close to 2,000 policemen in Cebu City to secure delegates. About 1,800 policemen were deployed in Cebu City while 1,000 more have been assigned to various points in the province of Cebu that will be visited by the APEC delegates during their stay here, said Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, chief of the directorial staff at the PRO 7.

Aside from the police force, Lawas also expects additional personnel from the Special Action Force and from the Philippine Army to augment the security personnel for the meetings.

PRO 7 Director Prudencio Tom Bañas said the police are now close to 100 percent ready in terms of its security preparations for the APEC meetings.

Bañas said the National and Regional Joint Task Force Operation Center was already activated while the site task group on emergency preparedness is also in place.

Bañas reminded his men to maintain a high standard and efficiency and professionalism because they project the image of the entire PNP force. –