Davao City tourism bounces back after martial law is declared in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY—From the initial shivers following the declaration of martial law across Mindanao, the tourism sector here has bounced back with significant revenues from tourists as other multimillion-peso housing and accommodation projects have not reached their target completion

The city government said the improvements could safely assert that “Mindanao has been placed under martial law did not dampen investors’ confidence, particularly in Davao City.”

The city information office quoted Jet Yu, founder and managing director of the country’s leading real-estate firm PRIME Philippines, as saying, “martial law has minimal to no effect on the gross sales of residential condominiums in Davao City.”

It said Yu “noted the increase in hotel gross sales in Davao City to 100 percent last December from only 25 percent last August.”

“Hotel gross sales in Davao City increased by 25 percent to 100 percent from August to December 2017, after experiencing a 10-percent to 25-percent decrease a few months after the declaration of martial law in Mindanao,” Yu said.

In a speech read by Davao City Investment Promotions Center head Lemuel Ortonio, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio “commended the ECCP [European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines] and PRIME Philippines for choosing the city as one of the event venues. The Mindanao Business Forum is also slated in Diliman, Quezon City, next month.”

“Today, we will hear the testimonies of resiliency, amid security challenges among business champions, encouraging us to continue the advancement of our economic prosperity in Mindanao, particularly in Davao City,” Duterte-Carpio said.

She cited several projects started in the city since martial law was proclaimed in Mindanao that included a mixed-community development, a condominium project with an international five-star hotel accommodation and other world-class residences.

It said that among these investments were the Dusit Thani Residence Davao by the Torre Lorenzo Development Corp., which topped off in November last year and the P20-billion Azuela Cove by the Aviana Development Corp, a joint venture of Ayala Land Inc. and the Alcantara and Sons (Alsons) Group. The Saint Luke’s Hospital was also a confirmed locator at the Cove.

Data from the Davao City Tourism Operations Office also show a 10-percent hike in the city’s tourist arrivals, from 464,985 during the third quarter of 2016 to 511,228 during the same period in 2017.

“When I think of Davao’s resilience, I think of the Mindanao  malong. It is only when all these colors are in harmony that the thread creates a beautiful pattern in the same way that the efforts of the government, the private sector, foreign investors and the public have altogether made the city an ideal investment destination in the Philippines,” Duterte-Carpio said.

She added the business forum titled “Mindanao Business Briefing: Updates on Security Situation, Business Resiliency and Optimism” jointly held by the ECCP and PRIME Philippines showed “the optimism [on] Davao did not waiver.”

It said “no less than the founder and managing director of PRIME Philippines noted that martial law had a minimal to no effect on business in Davao City.”

Meanwhile, the mayor called on barangay officials to participate in the Southern Storm Drills, a series of anti-terror exercises to be pilot-tested in the city next month.

“We particularly seek the participation of barangay officials because the simultaneous exercises will require a lockdown of the city and the members of our communities need to be informed,” she said.

She said the “security sector’s initiative to conduct the initial anti-terror exercises in the city will test interagency and community preparedness and will address weaknesses in the event of a terror attack and other emergencies.”

The city information office said the “special focus areas for the Southern Storm Drills would be vital infrastructure and facilities in the city, including the Davao International Airport and coastal area,  considered to be among the entry points to the city.”

The anti-terror drill would be replicated in other urban areas in the country. It would simulate the response of both the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in case of a terror attack. The Bureau of Fire Protection and the Office of Civil Defense would participate in the drill.

“We all need to be prepared because the fight against terrorism and crime is the responsibility of everyone,” the mayor said. “The cooperation, support  and patience of Davaoeños during the conduct of the exercises will strengthen our readiness and capability to ensure the safety of our city and our communities against the threats of terrorism and crime.”



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