‘Declare Davao safe’

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


DAVAO City Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, who heads the committee on tourism and beautification of the 17th City Council, said the City Government of Davao and its people recognize the need to demand a statement from the National Government recanting the terror threat it earlier declared.

Also, Duterte, who is on leave from July 2 to August 12, preferred to keep the heightened alert in Davao City despite the clarification made by President Benigno Aquino III.

A news report quoted Duterte saying, “I would rather err on the side of prudence. There’s nothing wrong with being prepared.”

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He said the security forces here will continue to stay alert.

Alejandre said, "I guess our national government should really give another statement to really say that Davao is safe. Whether we like it or not, it can really create clamor among people going to Davao. People living here believe that our city is really safe, but how about those people going here especially that Kadayawan is approaching. Mao na isa sa among mga worries."

“We are appealing nga magpabilin nga normal ang operations, pati sa dagan sa peace and order. We are appealing that national government will issue a statement and verify status kay naa gihapoy uban sector nga medyo apektado pero sa atong tourism so far so good man siya,” he said.

Amid the “raw and unverified” terror threat in the in the city, the Tourism Council convened Wednesday and discussed the status of the tourism sector in the city.

Aside from the upcoming Kadayawan, he said the council also talked about the effects of the “terror threat.”

“It’s business as usual,” he said, adding that everything, so far, is under control.

He said no conventions were reportedly cancelled because of the threat, except that one event has a decreased number of participants.

He explained that the organizers of that particular event chose to invite smaller number of people due to internal reasons.

“We were somehow worried na basig naay maapektohan pero wala may report from hotels nga nag back out. Fixed naman tanan. Wala nay problema,” he said.

But, he was quick to add that, “Somehow the group feels sad. Because we all know that Davao is safe man gyud. Wala man tay problema diri (We have no problem here).”

“Amoa ani we are really working hard na ipakita nato sa international countries that Davao City is safe. Mao dili nato ipush nga kita mismo ang mudaot sa atoang image diri sa Davao (We are working hard to show to other countries that Davao City is safe. We should not make any statement that could destroy our image),” he said.

City Tourism Office officer-in-charge Lisette Marques echoed the same.

"There's no distinct decline or cancellations so far but maraming queries (about) the security issue," she said in a text message.

"And we in the tourism industry report to our prospective clients outside that it's business as usual, although heightened alert there are no unusual security measures that alarm the guests/community."

It was learned from the Department of Tourism (DOT) 11 that at least two events were cancelled right after the news broke out.

One was the last leg for Cebu Pacific’s One for Juan awards night, which was supposed to be held in Island Garden City of Samal and the other was a USAID-funded program activity that DOT-Davao was working with.

After Duterte revealed that Aquino phoned him and cautioned him about the “terror threat,” Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas went to Davao City and told the city mayor that the terror threat is real.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 03, 2014.

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