CEBU CITY -- The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) is poised to ask the government of the United Kingdom (UK) to lift the travel advisory it issued to its citizens against travelling to southern Cebu.
“There is no basis at all. Wa gyuy basehan ilang (There is no basis for their) travel advisory that always mention southern Cebu,” Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino told the Philippine News Agency Sunday.
Dino told the media that he was determined to send a letter to UK government.
Dino brought with him officials from different law enforcement and regional government agencies to towns of Badian and Oslob, south of Cebu to engage with tourism stakeholders in an inter-agency safety and security summit organized by OPAV.
Dino declared before resort owners, tour guides, barangay and municipal officials in Badian and Oslob that “there is no threat to terrorism in Cebu based on the assessment from the intelligence community.”
“If they have travel advisories to issue, they should coordinate with our government. They should consult with our military and the intelligence community,” he said.
Tourism, he said, is one of the promising industries in Cebu, which should not be disturbed with unsupported travel warning.
Department of Tourism 7 (Central Visayas) Regional Director Shalimar Tamano told the summit participants that despite several travel ban issued by the UK government, he noticed an increase of tourist arrivals in Cebu.
Tamano said a group of British VIPs (very important persons) went to Cebu last year to visit Badian, world-famous canyoneering town, despite the ban to tour in southern Cebu.
He, however, said arrival count of tourists from UK is low compared to Korean, Chinese and Japanese visitors.
Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, Central Command chief, told the tourism stakeholders in two towns that “terrorism knows no boundaries and no religion” but can be foiled through the peoples’ vigilance.
Clement noted terrorism can be quelled through “collective protection and participation of everybody.”
Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, Police Regional Office-7 (Central Visayas) director, assured tourism industry players that the intelligence network between the police and the military is working well.
“Kami nga inyong mga pulis (we, your policemen), are always ready. We do checkpoints, foot patrol, and other activities to secure your place,” Sinas said.
Sinas asked stakeholders to be vigilant and report to authorities, suspicious personalities in their barangays.
Captain Ronnie Gil Gacan, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard-Central Visayas, also assured stakeholders that they could monitor vessels that sail in the Visayan waters and monitor their movements while off the coast.
The Coast Guard is coordinating with the military and the police every time they monitor suspicious movements of vessels at sea.
Meanwhile, Barangay Tanawan, Oslob is home of the famous "butanding" (whale shark). (PNA)