Authorities in Mimaropa on Wednesday assured public safety in the country’s Destination of Choice including Palawan.
“The provinces of Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan are relatively safe and secure for any tourism-related activity in the face of the travel advisories issued by foreign governments,” said Department of Tourism - Mimaropa Regional Director Danilo B. Intong in an advisory.
The advisory was made public following the travel warning issued by the US Embassy in Manila for its citizens on alleged terrorist groups’ plots to conduct kidnapping operations in Palawan including Puerto Princesa City and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
“Air, sea and land transport to Mimaropa Region from all points are safe and normal,” Director Intong said.
He added that “the Province of Palawan continues to be a top destination in the country and maintains its accolade as the World’s Best Islands from 2013-2016.”
In Palawan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Command (Wescom) urged the public to remain calm and vigilant as government agencies are working closely with the private sector in making the region's last frontier a safe place for both local and foreign tourists.
In a statement, Wescom said the Command understands the concern and responsibility of the US government on their citizens' welfare by issuing a warning on possible terrorist activities.
Wescom said it shares the same concern which is why the Command “beefed up its security postures in the province” months ahead in time for the vacation season without reference to any travel advisory.
The security measures implemented by Wescom are complemented by the Philippine National Police, PNP-Maritime Group, Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Bantay Dagat, Rescue I65, Puerto Princesa City and the provincial and local governments of Palawan.
“Moreover, the people of Palawan are with us in remaining vigilant in their areas and in coordinating with us on relevant information vital to public safety. We are all doing our very best, together with other agencies, in denying any terrorist groups entry and access in the high seas and coastal areas. Likewise, Interagency Task Groups in tourist areas like Coron, El Nido , Sabang, Honda Bay, Balabac, Bataraza, Rio Tuba, Brookes Point, among others, were also activated,” the Wescom statement said.
The statement also spoke of authorities’ regular coordination with resort owners, security agencies, Muslim community leaders and business organizations such as the Palawan Chamber of Commerce. (LP/DOT-Mimaropa/Wescom)