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ROUGH CUTS | The DOT slogan change – 2

DAVAOEÑOS’ cross is getting a bit heavier, as seen in the billing of certain utility companies for June. We were informed through social media that one utility company was charging consumers a slightly higher amount in their bill for their consumption last month.

To some, the hike is still very tolerable. But to others – majority of consumers, in fact – it is already a major burden given that the costs of basic items needed to survive have no sign of lowering. And it is all because, as government and big businesses claim, of outside economic forces, specifically the volatile cost of oil products.

Agree, but to the greater majority of Davaoeños whose stomach continues to yearn for enough food, will they?

We hope that the one controversial statement of a witness in the botched deal with a Chinese giant telecommunications firm, “moderate your greed, ” will ring in the ears of the corporate leaders of our country.


This item is a continuation of the issue we took up yesterday in this space – the Department of Tourism’s (DOT’s) adoption of a new slogan. The previous one was “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” The replacement is “Love the Philippines.” The former was claimed by many as a waste of money as it was developed and launched in what seemed to be a very expensive debut. But the new DOT guard may have thought the old slogan lost its convincing value. So the DOT has come up with a new one. 

How much does the crafting and launching the new slogan cost the government? Is it lower or is it as costly or even more expensive than the previous one? The Filipino people deserve to know because it is their money that was spent for the purpose.

Now we would like to go back to the observations of our friend Marlu Villarosa who is himself a long-time resident of the United States and is now settled in Davao City with his family. For his few years stay in the country – in Davao City specifically — he could not help but be aware of what is happening in our airports and some areas considered gems for Philippine tourism. And it is not just our friend who has heard of the sad experiences of tourist acquaintances while in the country and, sadly, including Davao City. We, too, had some foreigner-friends here in the city who said their expectation was far from met.

Our friend told us he has many “balikbayan” acquaintances who shared their feedback with him. Most of these “balikbayans” have already gone to other places in Asia and other continents. Thus they have accumulated experiences in their travels in those other countries.

For this reason, they have enough bases to compare their experiences in other countries to those of their experiences in the Philippines when they come to visit.

In fact, according to our friend, “the ‘balikbayans’ are on the top tier of complainers. First in their bad experiences, of course, is upon their arrival at the airport. And then when they get out and move around places they intend to go, signs that are supposed to guide the tourists around are wanting.”

“The absence of appropriate signage all the more makes tourists cringe in frustration,” our friend told us of this sad experience of his friends who came here to the country. “Good thing that there is the Google map that they could turn to for as guide,” his friends lamented.

In his own personal view, our friend believes that the DOT “should look into whether the change in slogan will solve the negative incidents that are making the tourists hesitate to come to the Philippines. It appears that the DOT seems to ignore one of the most basic information that they want to know before deciding to come to the Philippines. Meaning, corrective measures are already implemented on the mess that happened in the recent past. These are the long power outages at the airport terminal, the defective radar system, the long queues at the immigration lines and questionable interviews; and outside, the usual presence of scammers among transport service providers, to name a few.”

“Love the Philippines”? Can foreign tourists do that? Will our local tourists do the same? They should because they are Filipinos. It is their responsibility. But as to foreign visitors, including our own citizens who have been residing in other countries for years, asking them to “love the Philippines” must have corresponding enticements from the government.  And that is by providing foreign tourists with the means to have their expectations met when they are in the country.


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