Palace hails BBC report citing PHL as among world’s most welcoming countries

MANILA -- MalacaAang on Thursday hailed a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report listing the Philippines as one of five most welcoming countries in the world.

"The Philippines is among the five world's most welcoming countries, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. It cited the Philippines' going-out culture, which give expats plenty of opportunities to make friends," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said during a Palace press briefing.

BBC is a British public service broadcaster headquartered in London and is the world's oldest national broadcasting organization.

Abella said that according to a report from the Department of Tourism, (DOT), almost six million tourists arrived last year compared to 5.3 million in 2015.

The Palace official said that through infrastructure investments, the government aims to double tourist arrivals in six years, or by the end of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, and provide millions of job opportunities to Filipinos.

"We hope to boost visitor arrivals to 12 million by the end of the President's term in 2022 through the private sector investments," he said.

"Based on our National Tourism Development Plan of 2016-2022, the Duterte administration also aims to create up to 6.5 million jobs in the tourism sector -- or the equivalent of 14.4 percent share of tourism jobs -- in the next five years," Abella said.

In the same briefing, Abella also welcomed the announcement by Japanese multinational company Hitachi to continue its operations in the Philippines.

"Mitsuhiko Shimizu, Hitachi Asia-Philippines branch general manager, stated that the Philippines' young population is one of the most appealing factors for the investors to do business in the country," he said.

"To attract more foreign investments and to create more jobs for Filipinos, the Duterte administration continuously ramps up infrastructure spending and eases the cost of doing business in the Philippines," Abella said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency