Cebu Tourism Safe for Everyone States Korean Envoy

Safety is assured when enjoying Cebu tourism

Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Hye Min Lee has said he and his fellow Koreans feel safe in Cebu, which has a very good track record in security regarding Cebu tourism.

He issued this statement after at least six countries issued travel advisories to their citizens against traveling to the Philippines.

Around 15,000 Koreans currently live in Cebu and about 300,000 Korean tourists arrive in Cebu annually, Lee pointed out.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, whom the ambassador visited, said she was surprised by the travel advisories and added these may wreak havoc on Cebu tourism plans.

“But then we just need to do the best that we can to prove that we are right here, establishing an atmosphere of security of safety, not just for our residents but our visitors as well,” she said.

The travel advisories were issued by the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and France.

The six countries issued travel advisories following a foiled terror plot against the United States.

The advisories warned against visiting areas frequented by foreigners that could be potential target of terror attacks.

Garcia said she has very high expectations of law enforcement agencies and has not received any threat in Cebu that may involve other provinces in Central Visayas.

Ambassador Lee, who was appointed last July, paid a courtesy call on the governor.

“You see, the Korean investments in the Philippines are gradually on the rise and we expect more Korean investors to come to the Philippines,” he told reporters.

The governor said it was Lee’s first visit to Cebu and he was impressed by the growth in Korean tourist arrivals. He is interested in initiating more official exchanges in training.

The Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco), under a joint venture with SPC Power, has built a 200-megawatt power plant in Naga, Cebu. It synchronized its first unit with the Visayas grid two weeks ago.

Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Erson Digal said Cebu remains “a very safe place to visit and live,” amid the travel advisories and reports that 10 suspected terrorists were spotted in different parts of the country.

“Even if they haven’t come over here yet, we are already prepared,” Digal told reporters.

As a precaution, he instructed all the towns’ chiefs of police to conduct regular checkpoints to safeguard Cebu tourism.

In an earlier report, Digal said the police will field operatives in shopping malls, bus terminals and ports. Forty-seven members of the Special Reaction Unit (SRU) are also undergoing training.

He asked the public to stay vigilant and to report any odd activities in their area so the police can take action. “We are ready to sacrifice our lives,” he said. (PNA)

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