- Tourism secretary asked VP and media to tone down EJK statements
- She said it is hard selling PH to tourists because of such statements
- She also said tourist arrivals increasing despite EJK allegations
MANILA, Philippines – Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo urged both Vice President Leni Robredo and the media to scale back their statements on extrajudicial killings as it is making it hard to entice tourists to come to the country.
“I have a great respect for VP. The Philippines is now becoming an alternate destination in Asia and Europe. Eh ‘yung mga statements na ganoon, nahihirapan kami i-sell ang Philippines [Statements like that make it hard for us to sell the Philippines],” Rappler quoted her as saying. “This does not only refer to VP Leni but also to media. Medyo i-tone down natin ‘yung EJK [Let’s tone down statements on extrajudicial killings) because I’m always asked wherever I go, even in Asia and Europe, ‘Totoo ba ito?’ [Is this true?] and I would say it’s safe in the Philippines and I would always ask them to come.”
Instead of issuing such statements, Teo said she hopes Robredo and the media would instead help her improve the country’s image to draw in visitors.
“I hope those statements can be toned down because we are having a hard time selling the Philippines. Just help us sell the Philippines,” she said.
At the same time, Teo touted the influx of tourists from Asia and Europe despite the reports of extrajudicial killings.
“Inspite of that, I still see that we have more tourists coming to the Philippines, especially in China, Europe, and Asia,” she said.