The United Kingdom issued a travel advisory to its citizens against going to Mindanao and parts of Cebu province due to “threat of terrorism.”
But local tourism stakeholders were said Cebu has always been a safe place to visit and law enforcement agencies are on top of the situation.
In a warning issued on Oct. 24, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised its citizens against all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activities and clashes between military and insurgent groups.
FCO also warned against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao (excluding Camiguin, Dinagat and Siargao Islands) and to the south of Cebu province, including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian, due to the threat of terrorism.
The government website added that terrorists were “likely to carry out attacks in the Philippines, including Manila.”
“Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity to carry out attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country, including the places visited by foreigners, like airports shopping malls, public transport, and places of worship,” it added.
Alice Queblatin, president of the Cebu Association of Tour Operations Specialists (CATOS), said Cebu has consistently shown that it is a safe place to visit and that the government is in full control.
“These advisories have been there before and visitors don’t ask about it anymore,” she said.
Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito Costas said they were closely monitoring 14 towns in the south.
So far, four towns have given feedback through their police, including Argao, Oslob, Samboan, and Alegria.
“The situation is normal and no tourist incident report at this time. We also have coordinated with CPPO (Cebu Provincial Police Office) for real-time updates,” he said.