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‘Safe to travel in the Philippines’
By Mariecar Jara-Puyod November 08, 2017
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DUBAI: Manila government officials in Dubai have said that the Duterte administration is doing its best to make the Philippines a safe haven for all.

On Sunday evening and from the “Dream Philippines” tourism project of the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai held at the One & Only Mirage Hotel in Jumeirah, a Sri Lankan guest from the VIP row volunteered: “I am 49 years old. I went to the Philippines for the first time when I was 19 years old and since then have visited the country many times. I have never felt unsafe in the Philippines whether I am up in the mountains, or in the sea, or even in the remote areas.”

He voiced out his opinion when one of the guests during the question-and-answer forum raised concern over the safety and security of international tourists in the Southeast Asian country.

Vice Consul Elizabeth Ramos had early on replied: “The President Rodrigo Duterte Administration is ensuring the security of all tourists and Filipinos.”

Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes told newsmen separately: “The Duterte administration has taken great measures to build and maintain a society that is conducive to further development.

“Thus, we take peace, order, and stability seriously and as factors that the international community can count on when dealing with the Philippines and the Filipino nation be it in trade, investment, or in this case tourism.”

The “Dream Philippines” was held a few weeks after Manila’s Department of Tourism (DoT) relaunched in Dubai the “Bring Home a Friend” campaign that encourages overseas Filipinos to invite their non-Filipino friends and colleagues over to their country.

Done in partnership with the Tabeer Tourism and which is about the promotion of Philippine culture and heritage before the diverse international community particularly in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, “Dream Philippines” is incorporated in the Economic Diplomacy pillar of Manila’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

“I wish to encourage our friends from very diverse ethnic communities to visit the Philippines,” said Cortes.

On halal tourism, the diplomat noted that more stringent measures are undertaken by the current national leadership to ensure that not only food exported to Islamic countries is halal-certified by the legally-created halal authority in Manila and the recipient host governments but that more tourism and hospitality-related establishments across the Philippines are going in that direction.

An 18-minute video presentation on four tourism destinations—Palawan, Cebu, Boracay and Bohol—was presented.

Video director Marhoom Ahmad Bilal said: “The best that I can say is that the people are really friendly. They are not rude. They indeed love music. I highly recommend the Underground River in Palawan. It is a lifetime experience and something which one must not miss.”

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