DAVAO CITY – If there’s anything that would keep tourists in coming to Davao City, it’s the commitment of the local government to maintain peace and order in the Crown Jewel of the South, an award-winning mayor said.
In an interview with a local radio station, Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian explained that developing peace and order is necessary to improve tourism since it remains to be top priority for travelers.
“In any country and locality, peace and order is very important. Number one ‘yan pagdating sa tourism. In fact, if you conduct a survey, secondary na lang ‘yung magagandang tanawin at infrastructure. Number one talaga ‘yung peace and order,” Gatchalian said.
“And I can see that the local government of Davao City is really serious about the peace and order. Nakita naman natin ‘yan and the track record will speak for itself,” he added.
The former Valenzuela City mayor issued the statement even after President Benigno Aquino warned of unconfirmed terrorist activities in the city which prompted Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to impose curfews and other precautionary measures two weeks ago.
Gatchalian, a member in the House Committee on Tourism, lauded Duterte for also ensuring public safety and maintaining discipline among his constituents in during his provincial visit in Mindanao’s the center of trade and commerce.
A businessman himself, Gatchalian encouraged tourism investors to expand their businesses in Davao City like real-estate giants Ayala, SM, and Vista Land.
“Mayor Rody (Duterte) really responds to the times kung makita naman natin ‘yung unang panahon ng Davao ay kailangan (talaga ng isang tao) na pwedeng hawakan ang situation (at criminality) sa lugar na ito,” Gatchalian said.
“Davao, being the center of commerce in Mindanao, he cannot afford to lose the reputation of being the center of commerce kaya sinigurado niya ‘yung peace and order,” he added.
The study of World Wildlife Foundation or WWF and BPI or Bank of Philippine Islands Foundation, Inc. confirmed Davao City’s high rank when it comes to governance and peace and order, wherein it charted a 57.6 percent crime solution rate.
In a report published in BusinessWorld, it showed that Davao spends up to P878 million annually, or about a fifth of the annual appropriations for its peace and order program.
Among these are the emergency Central 911, which boasts of state-of-the-art equipment including closed circuit television or CCTV cameras; the People’s Law Enforcement Board or PLEB; the military’s Task Force Davao:, and the operation of the Davao City Police Office.
Davao City is home to over 2 million residents and several topnotch universities including the Ateneo de Davao University, University of the Philippines-Mindanao Campus, and the University of Mindanao, among others. (Tim Alcantara)