CLARK FREEPORT -- "Davao will be the gateway of Central Luzon people to Mindanao."
Roberto Alabado III, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Davao Region, said this during a meeting with a group of Pampanga newsmen who joined the relaunch of the Air Asia's Clark-Davao flight few days ago.
"In terms of attraction, ang tinitignan namin dito ay most probably for our people from Central Luzon and Northern Luzon, Davao will be their gateway. Many would say that this will be the first city that they will step in Mindanao," Alabado said.
"We would like to showcase kung ano yung mga makikita hindi lang dito sa Davao pero sa buong Mindanao. Kasi kapag pumunta ka dito sa Davao, you'll get a taste of Mindanao na rin 'e," he added.
The unique [tourist] attractions of Davao include some of the symbols of the Philippines - the Philippine Eagle Center, Mount Apo, the Waling Waling, UNESCO heritage site, and others, according to Alabado.
The DOT Davao Regional Office launched three key tourism programs - the Visit Davao Fun Sale; Let's Meet in Davao: Mice Davao Program; and the 9th Mount Apo Boulder Face Challenge - all aimed to establish Davao as a premier destination, he added.
"We offer attractions from island to highlands. When we say islands, we would have diving, white beaches and world-class resorts. And at the same time when you go to the mountains, we have another vista na naman. Halos isang oras lang, makakapunta doon sa mga mala Tagaytay o Baguio weather," Alabado said.
"So these are certain attractions that we would like our citizens in Central and Northern Luzon to experience. Pero ang pinaka main attraction namin ngayon is the president because he has been very vocal about it that he wants the people, our Filipino people, to see what he plans to do in his next five years. When he talks about criminality, he wants to showcase the peace and order that he had established here in Davao," he added.
To serve the people, President Duterte establish the Center 911 and the public safety security command center which can be a model for an interoperability between security forces to provide security for the people, Alabad added.