Ipe: Tourists safe here

Dumaguete Capital City Mayor Felipe Remollo has assured the estimated 650,000 tourists (both local and foreign) in the city and province of their safety despite the insurgency problem because the conflict only is confined in the hinterlands of Northern Negros. The insurgency issue has spared the tourism industry from harm and violence.

The mayor also reiterated this assurance to the visiting Korean Consul General Uhm Wonjae, Wednesday.

In 2018, some 2,105 Koreans visited Dumaguete City, there are also students and professional South Koreans currently residing in Dumaguete.

Last year, the most number of foreign tourists came from China (16,436); United States of America (7,456); Australia (2,397); Canada (2,251); Korea (2,105); Japan (2,062) among other nationalities.

Based on the figures from the City Tourism Office, a total of 50,153 foreign tourists arrived in 2018 along with 656,151 domestic tourists, meaning Filipinos from other provinces and cities and balikbayans.

Furthermore, available data from the City Tourism Office showed that total tourist arrivals in 2018 was pegged at 706,689, higher by about 14.75 percent compared to the previous year’s 615,861 (2017).

Mayor Remollo informed Consul Wonjae that the city has invested multimillion pesos worth of anticrime equipment to include military drones, high speed motorcycles, bullet proof vests body cameras, modern and high definition CCTVs, communication devices and other hardware.

These assets have boosted the capacity of the local police and anti-crime volunteers in fighting illegal activities and apprehend criminals.

Finally, Mayor Remollo maintains that the peace and order situation of the province is manageable, therefore, there is no need to impose martial law that in the long run would be counter-productive. People will be giving the wrong pictures of this peaceful city. Besides it could become a bad precedent to other cities to sow violence and follow.