Despite travel advisories cautioning foreign tourists from traveling to Visayas and Mindanao following terrorism threats, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said that tourism can continue and assured that law enforcement authorities are on top on the situation.
“The Department of Tourism (DOT) expresses complete confidence that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are on top of the national security situation in Central Visayas,” DOT said in a statement.
This after the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom issued warnings against traveling to Central Visayas particularly Bohol and Cebu to due threats from terror groups.
Bohol and Cebu, known for their ecotourism and historical tourism sites are among the country’s top tourist destinations.
On Tuesday, at least nine people were killed in an encounter between government troops and suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists in Inabanga, Bohol.
The clash in Bohol with suspected ASG elements took place shortly after the US Embassy in Manila issued the travel advisory to its nationals.
DOT said that the agency is also coordinating with local and national security and law enforcement agencies capable of putting travelers’ concerns.
“Proper authorities have assured that both international and domestic travelers may continue with their travel plans, even as we remind all stakeholders of usual safety precautions that must be routinely observed at all destinations,” DOT said.
The agency also thanked military and police personnel for their efforts to ensure that safety of locals and tourists in the country. (PNA)