Cebu, Iloilo among best airports in Asia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 1, 2019   •   1527

Mactan-Cebu International Airport

The airports in Cebu and Iloilo are among the best in Asia, according to an online poll of a travel website.

Among the top 20 best airports in Asia, the Sleeping in Airports has ranked the Mactan Cebu International Airport in 16th place while Iloilo International Airport is ranked 18th.

Iloilo International Airport

The website said, the ranking is based on the overall experience of travellers: comfort, services, immigration/ security, customer service, navigation/ease of transit, food options and ‘sleepability’.

In a statement, the Chief Executive Advisor of the GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation Andrew Acquaah-Harrison is happy with the said ranking.

“We are glad to once again be ranked by travellers among one of the best airports in Asia on Sleepinginairports.net. Our common goal, in partnership with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, government agencies, and airport community stakeholders, is to continuously improve and provide a positive experience to the passengers at Mactan-Cebu International Airport,” he said.

Ranking first in Asia, as well as in the world, is Singapore Changi Airport followed by Seoul Incheon Airport.—AAC

Duterte tells DPWH to relocate residents in no-build zones

Robie de Guzman   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to coordinate with local government units (LGU) and other agencies in relocating informal settlers in Cebu displaced by Typhoon Odette.

In a pre-recorded meeting with government officials, Duterte said the DPWH should work with LGUs for possible resettlement of families who will be relocated from “no-build zones” or areas deemed dangerous to reside in.

“Alam mo you need to talk to the mayors — well, pati governors, but more importantly is how the mayor would govern his city or municipality kasi sila lang ang makaturo kung saan lilipat ‘tong mga ‘to,” Duterte said.

“Ang akin kasi, I do not want to dismantle or to destroy houses unless there is a relocation site. Malaki nga ang problema mo diyan sa totoo lang. When you begin to bulldoze those houses there, you have a problem in your hands and that is a social problem actually,” he added.

The president issued the directive as the DPWH reported about roads damaged by storm surge caused by Typhoon Odette, particularly the Santander-Barili-Toledo Road in Cebu.

DPWH Secretary Roger Mercado reported some portion of the pavement and even houses were destroyed after the typhoon hit Cebu, stressing the road must be constructed with permanent improvements.

Mercado said the DPWH will try its best to negotiate with the residents and convince them to relocate because of the dangers posed by staying near the coastline.

At the same time, the DPWH head said he issued a department order strictly implementing the road right-of-way provision of the law, as well as the no-build zone policy.

In a no-build zone, no structure should be built within the 40 meters from the centerline going towards the shore, he explained. In this case, the residents have violated the guideline because their houses are within the 40-meter no-build zone.

The DPWH said it will need P50 million to fund the permanent improvement, adding a seawall and drainage system have to be built to protect the structure from another storm surge.

“I am calling the planning and the finance and tomorrow we will — will continue to scour for money and hopefully we can report to you that — so that you will be happy, Mr. President. We will be resourceful,” Mercado said.

The DPWH chief said they have requested for augmentation fund from their savings but because of the damage, their request must be amended to fund the construction of the Santander-Barili Road section.

The project could be completed within three to four months with massive infusion of equipment and non-stop work of government contractors, he added.

 

Bojo village in Cebu among UN’s 2021 ‘best tourism villages’ in the world

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – An area in Cebu has been recognized as one of the world’s “Best Tourism Villages” this year by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Visayas office said.

The DOT said the Bojo village in Aloguinsan, Cebu was among this year’s 44 communities in 32 countries that made it to the UNWTO list.

Bojo was the lone winner from the Philippines.

“Congratulations to Bojo, Aloguinsan, Cebu for being chosen as one of the World’s Best Tourism Villages for 2021 by the UNWTO. From more than 170 nominations submitted by 75 countries, Bojo, Aloguinsan shined bright as the lone winner from the Philippines,” the agency said in its social media account.

In its website, the UNWTO said the initiative was launched “to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.”

It said the villages chosen this year “stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to the development of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The UNWTO said the villages were evaluated by an independent advisory board based on a set of criteria, including cultural and natural resources; promotion and conservation of cultural resources; economic, social, and environmental sustainability; tourism potential and development and value chain integration; governance and prioritization of tourism; infrastructure and connectivity; and health, safety and security.

“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili was quoted as saying in its website.

“This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing,” he added.

The awarding ceremony held in Madrid, Spain last December 2 was attended and represented by the Spain Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr. Philippe Jones Lhuillier and Asec. Verna Esmeralda C. Buensuceso.

The complete list can be viewed here.

The UNWTO said the next edition will open in February 2022.

Philippines hailed as Asia’s leading beach and dive destination

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines has been hailed as ‘Asia’s Leading Beach Destination’ by the World Travel Awards 2021.

The other nominees are India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The country also bested other contenders for Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, leading against Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat welcomed the said recognition and expressed her gratitude towards the government and the citizens who continue to promote the country’s tourist attractions.

“We share this recognition with our tourism stakeholders, local government units, partner agencies, and all Filipinos who have been helping us promote our country’s attractions, products, and culture,” she said.

This is the fifth time the country has been recognized as Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, and the third time as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination. AAC

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