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Duterte slated for island-hopping amid COVID scare



President Duterte will travel around the country to boost the tourism industry amid concerns over the threat of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines.

Duterte had said in a video message that he will travel around the country and urged Filipinos to join him, adding they should first explore the wonders of the Philippines before traveling abroad.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s presence in different parts of the Philippines will encourage tourists to visit the different destinations in the archipelago. “He’s a magnet. He’s always a magnet. His presence attracts people from attending an event,” he said.

Tourism Undersecretary Art Boncato said the Department of Tourism is coordinating with the Office of the President about the itinerary for the President’s island-hopping venture which will start later this month or early March.

“It has to be immediate so it’s going to be in the next couple of weeks. We’re lining up destinations like Boracay, Cebu, even Bohol as part of the initial list of destinations the President will most probably visit within the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“Definitely the major islands will be covered. The intention is really to visit as many destinations as possible,” he added.

Boncato added that the DoT would have wanted Duterte’s tourism activities to happen weekly but said the President may not be able to do so because of his busy schedule.

“Kung kami po ang tatanungin, mas maganda po sana pero siyempre ang Pangulo ang schedule niya ay medyo puno,” he said.

“So handa po kami, kahit na ang mga local government units at tsaka private sector in the regions handa na sa pagbisita ng Pangulo,” he added. (Argyll Geducos)