MANILA –The government is now making a move to appease China’s security concerns in a bid to lift the travel ban against Manila, which has taken its toll in the country’s tourism industry.
“Internally, we already had several inter-agency meetings and we are trying to map out concrete steps that we could take to basically convince China that we are taking measures and that we are guaranteeing and ensuring the safety and protection of their nationals,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Charles Jose told reporters in a briefing Monday.
Jose, however, declined to elaborate the concrete steps they are taking adding that they will reveal it “in due course as things develop.”
“Right now we can’t say until these things have actually happened,” he added.
Following several kidnapping incidents and threats of attacking Chinese businesses and diplomatic posts, China encouraged its nationals to prefer not to travel to the Philippines early this September.
“Given that the safety situation in the Philippines is deteriorating, the consular service of the foreign ministry is asking Chinese nationals not to travel to the Philippines for the time being,” China’s security advisory posted on their Ministry of Foreign Affairs website said.
Following this ban, 20,000 Chinese tourists canceled their bookings causing around P500-million worth of losses in hotel reservations in Borcay islands.
Cebu Pacific also had to cancel 149 flights to and from China after the sudden drop in demand.
“We would like to show them that we are taking concrete measures and steps in addressing their security concerns,” Jose said.