PCOO chief bats for ‘more specific’ travel advisories


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MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said he will encourage tourism leaders to issue travel advisories that are “more specific” to areas in the Philippines affected by security issues to avoid other destinations from suffering economically.

Andanar made this remark in a recent press conference in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte, ensuring that he will direct his agency’s newly-established Office for Global Media Affairs with the task of pushing for fair travel advisories.

“I will make sure that in my future meetings I will stress on the importance of removing, in my own little way, travel advisories, or be more specific in the provinces or the cities that are affected by terrorism,” Andanar said.

Andanar cited the role of the PCOO’s Office for Global Media Affairs in cultivating better tourism relations between the Philippines and other countries.

“I made it a point that I started the job, I created an international division in my office and that international division in my office takes care of strengthening the bilateral relations between the PCOO and the information ministries of other countries,” Andanar said.

“The good relations between PCOO and different information ministries in ASEAN, Japan, China, Australia, US, brings our department closer to them,” he added.

Andanar is set to fly to Bangkok, Thailand this week to sign a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ministry of information there on journalism education exchange.

“That MOU will have educational exchanges between journalists in the Philippines and journalists from Bangkok,” Andanar said.

“It’s the same MOU that I signed with China. I think some of our colleagues in the Philippines are beneficiaries of these scholarships,” he added.

Last week, the United Kingdom and Australian governments issued advisories, warning their nationals against traveling to Mindanao in wake of a bomb attack in Cotabato City last December 31.

Malacañang, however, assured the international community that it is still safe to travel to Mindanao noting that the bomb attack, which killed two persons and wounded 34 others, is an “isolated case.”

The Palace said it was “natural” for any government to be concerned about the welfare and the safety of their citizens. (PNABy Azer Parrocha


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