Thursday, 30 October 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, October 4, 2014

Malacanang welcomes new recognition for Philippine tourism industry

The Palace welcomes the new recognition for the Philippines after the country was chosen as best destination in Asia Pacific, which could be a major boost to the Philippines aggressive tourism campaign.

"Congratulations to our hardworking fellows from the Department of Tourism at nakuha po natin itong best destination in Asia Pacific," Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

"We do not doubt that the campaign continues to spread because mainly it is true that ‘It is more fun in the Philippines.’"

Valte added that hopefully the new accolade will bring more foreign tourists from all over the globe to come to the Philippines and experience the beautiful destinations in the country.

The country bagged the “Destination of the Year” award during the 25th Annual TTG Travel Awards, according to the Department of Tourism.

The Philippines was cited as Asia-Pacific’s “Destination of the Year” for 2014 in a ceremony held in Bangkok, Thailand. This is due to the country's “proactive steps and initiatives toward the development of the travel industry.”

The Destination of the Year falls under the Outstanding Achievement Awards. Other categories include Travel Personality of the Year, Best Travel Entrepreneur, Best Marketing and Relationship Effort and Best Trade Supporter.

The TTG Travel Awards is one of the most coveted awards in the region’s travel industry, organized by the TTG Asia Media’s Travel Trade Publishing group. PND (as)

Philippine government ready to assist Filipinos in Hong Kong

The Philippine consulate in Hong Kong is ready to extend assistance to Filipinos who will be affected by the mass actions there, the Palace said on Saturday, advising Filipinos not to participate in the protest and to avoid the centers of mass actions.

In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte reiterated the call of Bernardita Catalla, the country's Consul General in Hong Kong, advising Filipinos to avoid unsafe areas to ensure their safety.

Valte said the situation in Hong Kong is becoming more tense as pro-democracy groups clash with "anti-occupy" protesters.

"We continue to coordinate and to keep our lines of communication open with the Filipino community because our consulate there in Hong Kong will be ready to render assistance should there be any instance na kailangan po ito," she said.

Valte also said that OFW may run into trouble if they join the protests since Hong Kong law will be applied to them once there's a round up.

"Hindi na po batas ng ating bansa ang umiiral doon kundi ‘yung batas ng lugar kung nasaan po sila," she said

"At lagi naman po natin silang pinapaalalahanan na sumunod din doon sa mga alituntunin, and to stay away from any acts that might get them into trouble with the law or with the authorities there."

For Filipino tourists who want to travel to Hong Kong, Valte said the Philippine government has not issued any travel advisory but she said tourists must be aware of their surroundings once they are in Hong Kong. PND (as)

National, local governments working together to ensure safety of residents near Mayon volcano

The national government is in close contact with the local government of Albay to ensure the safety of residents near the Mayon volcano, which could erupt anytime.

"Patuloy ang pakikipag-usap natin kina Governor Joey Salceda kung ano ang pwede pang maitulong ng national government," Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

"In fact, last week napag-usapan natin ang panawagan ni Governor Joey Salceda na humingi ng karagdagang tulong at agad namang tumugon si Secretary Dinky Soliman doon sa panawagan ni Governor Salceda."

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is also assisting the Albay government in the continuing evacuation and rescue efforts, she said.

Soldiers also continue to patrol the six-kilometer permanent danger zone, to ensure that no residents go back to their homes within the danger area.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said some residents return to their homes within the danger zone for some reasons and authorities must warn them to avoid loss of lives in case Mayon volcano erupts.

"Kailangan patuloy po ang paninigurado na ilalabas po natin silang lahat at wala sila doon sa peligro ng danger zone," Valte said.

Mayon volcano is heading towards a major eruption, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Friday.

Phivolcs pointed out the worsening abnormal condition of the volcano, like the continuous ground deformation with an inflation of three millimeters in 10 days.