I LOVE Davao Oriental, being situated in Davao Region in Mindanao; it has been blessed by a nature of promise. From the people to the spots, it promises relaxation of life and indeed a paradise. The place possesses qualities which delighted senses, exotic yet ravishing and stunning. It wouldn't be that comely and fair without the efforts extended by the local government and the people. Davao Oriental will always be my province, I am raised here and I'll always extend my efforts for the betterment of my place.

The article I had read in the newspaper as I was browsing brought disagreements on my part. The news stated clearly that Doma, a newly founded nongovernmental organization has these aims for the promotion and development of the tourists destinations in the place, stated as well that it is working together with the local government. That point somehow is not a debatable thing to me; of course, I will always vouch my side on that. The travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes must be advanced and must be encouraged.

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However, the use of the rebels particularly the MILF and NPA for the protection and maintenance of the tourist spots is a false act. I won't vouch my side on that. Never. It doesn't constitute anyway for the promotion of the latter. To show cooperation and to pay the rebels are forms of extortion. Whether the NGO said that they are doing it "to make sure that they do not pose security threats to the tourists", it is not a valid claim. The fall of the spots to the jurisdiction of the rebels is a mistaken way to depreciate the fears of the tourists who will be arriving and visiting the province. The private organization defensively expressed their words that the organization itself is not an ally of any rebel groups existing in the area, that even its members are not rebels. Are those falsely revealed words for a cause?

Say it so that you're rebels or not, the fact that you are communicating with the rebels shows mischief acts to the people of Davao Oriental and even in the whole of Mindanao. You disclosed that you are acknowledging their importance in the region's tourism, is it really so? They are the left side of the government, they choose to be like that, and you are giving them acknowledgement? Paying them is an excessive and exorbitant charge. I find it so ironic.

We have various agencies in the government which has the legitimate capacity to act with response to the different issues and problems arising in our society. Let the legitimacy of the police and military rule in the issue of security in the tourist spots in the province of Davao Oriental. Security problems in the area must not be addressed to the illegitimate groups. Saying that they will help, no they're not. They are alleviating more fears and mistrusts instead. If you want to improve the tourism industry of the area, then it is a good aim but with regards to peace and security issues, leave it to the proper agencies in the government.

I respect the Doma being an organization that has the will to further advance the tourism industry of the region. But as an inhabitant of Davao Oriental, I personally would think that it would be better that NPA wouldn't have been given the jurisdiction in the region's destinations.

Practicality wise, NPA must be banned.

This is a call for wise responses.

Thank you and more power. God bless us all.

Joana Marie Calva

Government Employee

Mati City, Davao Oriental

jonamariecalva@yahoo.com