By FRED M. LOBOThe country has won two major awards at the 2019 World Travel Awards for Asia. PH smells good again in world tourism.
* * *The Department of Tourism (DOT) said the Philippines has been cited for its 14.08 percent year-on-year increase in the country’s international inbound traffic, totaling 5,554,950 visitors between January and August, 2019. T he Philippines thus won over 11 other countries.
* * *“We are greatly honored and thankful for this recent recognition for the Philippines at the World Travel Awards. A triumph as great as this simply could not be possible without the combined hard work from the government, industry partners, and tourism stakeholders in realizing a more upward tourism industry for the country,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said.
* * *The Philippines was also recognized as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination for the first time, following a number of nominations for both Asia’s Leading Dive Destination and the World’s Leading Dive Destination award categories since 2006.
“It is also joyous news that the country’s diving scene is getting the attention it deserves. This award only adds to our motivation to promote a world-class Philippine dive tourism that is anchored on sustainability and inclusivity,” Romulo-Puyat added.
* * *Meanwhile, the government said the war on drugs continues and that it is cleansing the country of “ninja cops” involved in recycling or reselling confiscated illegal drugs.
* * *The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it is conducting a “reinvestigation” of the alleged “ninja cops” involved in a Pampanga raid in 2013 and similar other cases.
* * *The PNP Internal Affairs Section said it has recommended the dismissal of at least four “ninja cops” involved in the Pampanga raid who again got involved in a similar case recently in Antipolo City.
* * *But Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año denied that pressure was exerted on former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde to give up his post after being linked to the 2013 Pampanga drug raid.
T he President still has complete trust and confidence in him, he said.
* * *Año added that Albayalde was not forced to give up his PNP post as the President was satisfied with his performance. Albayalde had submitted a letter signifying his intention to relinquish his post to spare the police organization from the ongoing probe.
* * *Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go had disclosed earlier that President Duterte was choosing among three contenders for the top PNP post Lt. Gen. Gamboa, the No. 2 man being the deputy chief for administration; Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, the No. 3 man being the deputy chief for operations; and Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the No. 4 man being the chief directorial staff. Yes to a new and strong PNP leadership!