Is the Philippines a safe place for tourists?

It’s quite the same question I’ve asked to the foreign delegates when I attended the 12th International Youth Day Conference which was held at Iloilo City last August 3-7 this year. Like them, I believe that the Philippines is a safe place for tourists. Although, there is no such country without chaos and disorder, the Philippines still manage to give its best security and safety to both local and foreign tourists who visit our multitude of wonder-of-nature places that can be found in the four corners of the archipelago. I just hope that the present administration would allocate adequate funds in the tourism department that will ensure tighter security and protection for the tourists who are visiting the country as we aim to be the top tourist destination in the world.

Do you agree that the Freedom of Information bill will boost the fight against corruption and therefore deserves priority?

The Freedom of Information Bill should be included among the top priority bills that should be enacted into laws. This legislative measure will give the public an open but responsible access of fundamental data and information that would truly heighten the battle against graft and corruption. Hence, PNOy must endorse this bill to the Congress for its quick ratification as a proof that he is truly firm in his crusade against fraud and dishonesty in the government.

What set of criteria do you have for the incoming DOT Secretary?

The DOT Secretary should have the D.O.T. factor. D is for direction-oriented. He should have a broad knowledge about our country’s geography, history, and natural sceneries and wonders of nature like Caramoan Islands, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Anawangin Cove of Zambales and many more. O is for optimist. As Tourism Secretary, he must be knowledgeable on how he will market the multitude of tourist destinations in a very positive and convincing way. He should likewise know how to strategize in encouraging more and more foreign tourists to come and visit the country. And T for trustworthy. He should astutely utilize the resources in the department for its real purpose to boost our tourism industry. I hope one day, Philippines will wow the whole world as a top tourist destination!

Do you think the world champion dragon boat team deserves recognition, funding and support from POC and PSC?

A big yes! The Dragon Boat Team which put the Philippines in the international limelight, particularly in the realm of sports, really deserves the recognition, funding and support from POC and PSC. The government should never fail in supporting our Filipino athletes who relentlessly giving honor and glory to our beloved country. And must ensure that the funds intended for sports development programs are not being corrupted but should serve its real purpose. Congratulations to the team and keep paddling for victory!

What words do you have for newly proclaimed Senator Aquilino Pimentel III?

This is your moment. Congratulations to Sen. Koko Pimentel! May his proclamation as the newest Senator of the Republic bring positive change, not only to the chamber, but also to the country. He must use the two remaining years of his term well, not by engaging in nonsense matters, but by prolifically crafting essential bills that will truly help the people and the nation. He should likewise work on the pressing issues confronting the country, specifically the peacekeeping efforts in Mindanao. I expect that he would not squander the trust of the people, including me, who voted for him, and must repay that trust through good performance and proactive service.

See my published opinion here.

What do you think of the censorship of the ‘blasphemous’ art exhibit at the CCP?

Blasphemous art. The Philippines, being the only Catholic country in Asia, should never allow irreverent art displays that despise Catholicism. The CCP officials and the artists should be incarcerated for committing such ignominy and disgrace to the Christian faith. The exhibit was indeed an encroachment, not only into the laws of the land, but also the law of God, hence, its expurgation is just right and necessary.

See my published opinion here.