MAYOR Sara Duterte anticipates big influx of both foreign and local tourists in Davao City during the 25th Kadayawan celebration.
After the formal opening of the Kadayawan Trade Fair at the City Council lobby Monday, Duterte said she received reports that as of Sunday, hotels in the city are fully-booked for the festival.
"We expect a lot of visitors during the festivities. If our hotels are now fully-booked, then there will be more visitors during the highlights of the celebration over the weekend," Duterte said in a press conference.
Aside from tourists, the city will also host celebrities and bands from Manila, who will be gracing and performing in the festival.
Duterte reminded the public to follow the city's law enforcement, and the transport sector to respect passengers.
"We have set all the security details last week Friday, with our police and military. My concern is that the public should follow our personnel on the ground. You should obey our officers in checkpoints; there are instances that some don't want to be inspected because they have a position or they are rich. Everyone is required to comply inspections in checkpoints," Duterte said.
She also said the City Tourism Office has already installed an assistance desk at the Davao International Airport to assist incoming tourists.
"They provide assistance on how to get around the city, the things that tourists would want to know from a new place; our hotels, our events. They also give out discount cards for both local and foreign visitors. These are applicable during the festival events. This is the city's form of thanking them for coming here and celebrating with us," Duterte said.
"To all Dabawenyos, I am inviting you to come and join the celebration. This is our own way of celebrating our city's unique culture," she added.
During the final security briefing at the Public Safety Command Center, Duterte appointed Davao City Police Director Rene Aspera to head the city's entire security during the festival.
Military and police officials on Friday placed the city on high alert, following the recent capture of an international terrorist group member and the bombing in Zamboanga City.
More than a thousand police, military, and civil defense security are currently deployed around the city. Sixteen random checkpoints are working 24 hours a day to heighten security.
The city mayor ordered the police to concentrate on crowd security and arrest intoxicated people messing up during the festivities.
Duterte also said the party may go full-steam but the 2 a.m. liquor ban stays.
"I cannot change that because it's an ordinance. People can drink, but the rule still stands that it's only up to 2 a.m.," Duterte said. (Jade C. Zaldivar)