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Cebu sees more foreign investments from APEC hosting

By Leslie D. Venzon [(PNA), LGI/LDV]

CEBU CITY, Sept. 3 (PNA) -- The Cebu provincial government is planning to create more economic zones and drawing up strategies to enhance port facilities, as it gears up for increased foreign investments from hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

“I’m confident that after the (APEC) meetings here, there would be foreign economies and even foreign businessmen that would express interest in investing here in Cebu,” said Governor Hilario P. Davide III, chair of APEC Cebu Organizing Committee.

Davide expects more investments pouring into the manufacturing sector particularly fashion accessories, gift items and food; tourism; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and services sector.

“Services, that’s one of the key (economic) drivers here in Cebu,” he noted. “…We encourage the private sector to also focus on MSMEs in the countryside. We want to develop the countryside as much as we can to provide economic opportunities to Cebuanos there.”

To seize these investment opportunities, Davide underscored the need to enhance port facilities.

He said the Cebu Provincial Planning and Development Office, along with the local government units (LGUs), are also looking at the possibility of establishing more economic zones for future investments.

“Setting up more economic zones for future investments is one of the programs the government is looking at for the future. There have been requests from those wanting to invest here, they are looking for areas where to do business,” he reasoned.

The governor also assured prospective investors that the Cebu Investment Promotions Office is creating a business-friendly climate, particularly for foreign investors.

David expects around 3,000 delegates, excluding family members and their staff, to attend the APEC meetings here that run from August 22 to September 11.

APEC meetings good for Cebu exports, tourism - execs


CEBU CITY, Sept. 2 (PNA) -- The ongoing Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) senior ministers' meetings in Cebu is good for the province’s export and tourism industries, officials said.

Asteria Caberte, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 director, cited as an example the Exquisitely Filipino Exhibit at the SM City Cebu Northwing Atrium that features top local fashion accessories and furniture.

Caberte said the exhibit has been able to sell PHP100,000 worth of products a day since it was launched on August 22, which is also the start of the APEC meetings in Cebu.

Caberte said each delegate is expected to spend at least USD300 or roughly PHP14,000 during their stay in Cebu, excluding hotel accommodation.

The APEC meetings are expected to draw a total of 3,200 delegates to Cebu, aside from some 3,000 support staff.

Delegates are also expected to buy optional tours in Cebu and Bohol, aside from the complimentary city tours.

Rowena Montecillo, Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 director, said at least 85 APEC foreign delegates have purchased the optional tours in Cebu and Bohol since the start of the APEC meetings.

Earlier, some delegates were reported to have traveled to Bohol without informing their hotel information desks.

Among the tour sites in Cebu City are the Sto. Niño Basilica, Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, the old Jesuit House and museums which depict Cebu’s rich culture and heritage.

The city tour also covered a brief visit to the Cebu IT Park and the South Road Properties, which gave a glimpse of Cebu’s present and future developments.

At least 50 APEC delegates visited these sites Wednesday.

Another batch of APEC delegates will visit these sites on Thursday.

The Bohol countryside tour included the Loboc River Cruise, the Chocolate Hills, the tarsier and the centuries-old churches ruined by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Oct. 15, 2013.

Cebu aims to become PHL’s cruise ships' destination

By Leslie D. Venzon [(PNA), CTB/LDV]

CEBU CITY, Sept. 1 (PNA) -- Cebu province is aggressively positioning itself as a cruise ships' destination given its comparative advantage in tourism.

“Yes, we do want to be included in the map… Cebu is second destination outside Manila. We offer almost the same things that Manila can offer with pluses because the beach area is very near,” said Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 7 Director Rowena Montecillo.

Montecillo said the DOT regional office is in talks with some of the biggest international cruise companies that can bring in more tourists to Cebu.

“Most of them are actually very interested in Cebu because tour packages are already in place. They can even sell another province Bohol which is very near Cebu,” she said in a press briefing here.

Cebu plays host to several substantial ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11.

In line with this goal, Montecillo said the province is addressing the problem relating to cruise ships docking area.

“Right now, we have some problems with our port area. But the Cebu Port Authority is looking at another place, a town very near Cebu City to transfer all of these cargo ships so that the Cebu International Port (can) really concentrate on the cruise liners,” she said.

Montecillo said the DOT is also gearing up for its plan to increase flights direct to Cebu.

“Since third quarter of last year, we have added flights from Osaka and Nagoya (Japan) direct to Cebu and additional flight direct from Tokyo to Cebu. According to our Market Development Group, there will be more for Cebu this year,” she added.

PHL hosting 46th APEC energy efficiency and conservation official meeting

By Juzel L. Danganan [(PNA), RMA/JLD]

MANILA, Aug. 31 (PNA) -- The Philippines on Monday started hosting the three-day 46th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Experts and Officials' meeting in Cebu Monday.

In a statement Monday, the Energy Department said the Energy Efficiency and Conservation experts and official meeting is a bi-annual forum of APEC members that promotes energy conservation, application of energy efficiency practices and technologies. It aims to contribute to international efforts of reducing the impacts of increasing energy production and consumption.

The APEC's members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam.

The department said the forum , which runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 at Mrco Polo Hotel, will also tackle developments on smart grids, energy management systems, standards and labeling, energy intensity reduction, energy management systems, standards and labeling and transport fuel efficiency.

It also said the delegates would also visit Mandaue City for an educational briefing on its green buildings that include the San Miguel Brewery Inc. - Mandaue Brewery for its efficient energy practices.

The department said it has implemented various energy efficiency measures such as retrofitting of public lighting, public offices, state universities and street lights, distribution of energy efficient lights, promotion of energy efficient vehicles.

The department added it has initiated consumer education programs on energy efficiency measures and demand-side management.

The government office said that the Philippines was also finalizing its 2014-2020 National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Action Plan with the European Union's SWITCH Program.

APEC 2015 International Media Center in Cebu opens on August 29

By Ferliza C. Contratista (rmn/fcc/PIA7-Cebu)

CEBU CITY, August 30 (PIA)—The International Media Center (IMC) for the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) meetings in Cebu formally opened yesterday (August 29).

Media covering the APEC started claiming yesterday their accreditation cards at the IMC.

Ambassador Angelina Sta Catalina, deputy director general of APEC National Organizing Committee Conference Management Services (NOC-CMS), gave the first briefing to the media.

Sta. Catalina explained to the media the kinds of APEC meetings taking place in Cebu City.

“There are 87 meetings in Cebu with already 1528 delegates,” Sta. Catalina said.

She said some of the meetings will be aired on live feeds at the IMC.

Sta. Catalina enumerated the sources of APEC information for the media, which include the Deputy Director General for Strategic Messaging Abigail Valte, Deputy Director General for Media Relations Assistant Secretary Virgilio Nadal, the APEC Spokesperson, press briefings, scheduled interviews, press releases, and media coverages.

Dalaguete expands habitat for fruit bats

By Liberty A. Pinili

THE home of bats in the southern town of Dalaguete got bigger.

This, as the heirs of Eugenio Belandres turned over their rights to 4,472 square meters of land in the upland barangay of Lanao to the Municipal Government to provide a habitat for flying foxes.

The Municipal Council authorized Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante to accept the deed of donation from Zosima Ibarola, representative of the heirs of Belandres.

Ibarola held a tax declaration on the lot, classified as timberland, an area that cannot be privately owned. As a token for planting trees on the lot, the Municipal Government gave Ibarola P20,000.

Lisa Paguntalan of the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (PBCF) said that the forest in Lanao serves as home to the golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), little golden-mantled flying fox (Pteropus pumilus) and the large flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus).


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List classifies the golden-crowned flying fox as an endangered species while the large flying fox and the little golden-mantled flying fox are near-threatened.

The Municipal Government of Dalaguete vowed to plant more trees in Lanao, which forms part of the flying foxes’ sanctuary.

The Dalaguete forest patch, which covers about 500 hectares, is part of the remaining .3 percent forest cover of Cebu mainland and an important component of the Nug-as Forest-Palinpinon Range-Mt. Lantoy key biodiversity area.

Paguntalan said that few local governments are as committed as Dalaguete in wildlife conservation. She said that she has not yet heard of any local government unit that is willing to purchase land to provide habitats for wildlife.

Aside from the bats, the forest in Dalaguete is also the home of the Cebu flowerpecker, Cebu black shama and Cebu hawk-owl, all endemic to Cebu.


The Dalaguete Municipal Government established its own biodiversity conservation management program. It also declared the forest as bird and wildlife sanctuary and allotted funds for community-based forest and wildlife protection.

The Municipal Government also implemented a habitat restoration program, which involves the expansion of the natural forest.

Paguntalan said bats play a vital role in biological biodiversity because they are natural pollinators—they help expand natural vegetation through their droppings.

She said the population of flying foxes in Dalaguete is rising. Research and monitoring by PBCF noted that the number of flying foxes dropped below 1,000 in 2004 but last January, surveys found 2,500 individuals.

Paguntalan said, though, that while the survey indicates how effective Dalaguete’s efforts have been so far, the conservation of the species requires the proper management of an ecosystem network.

The forests in Dalaugete is adjacent to forest patches in Alcoy and Argao.

Gov’t to rollout more Negosyo Centers in Central Visayas

By Kris M. Crismundo [(PNA), CTB/KMC]

MANILA, Aug 28 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will be rolling out more Negosyo Centers in Central Visayas.

DTI Region VII Director Asteria Caberte said aside from two Negosyo Centers recently launched in Cebu City, DTI’s regional arm will open the same facilities in Bohol and Dumaguete in the next two months.

The two new Negosyo Centers in Cebu marked the 80th Negosyo Center facilities nationwide.

The DTI targets to launch a total of 100 Negosyo Centers at end-2015.

“You can expect more rollouts in 2016,” said Caberte.

Under the Go Negosyo Act passed into law in July 2014, the DTI was mandated to put up Negosyo Centers nationwide which will promote the growth of enterprises through improved processes of doing business.

A Negosyo Center offers three core services including business registration assistance, business advisory in the areas of product development, market access, financing, and investment promotions, and business information and advocacy.

More bank branches opening in CV

By Jeandie O. Galolo

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported an increase in the number of bank branches that have opened in Central Visayas in one year. The central bank sees this as a sign of widening access to banks in the region.

From March 2014 to 2015, BSP Department of Economic Statistics Deputy Director Teresita Devesa said there were 642 bank branches operating in Central Visayas, from the previous 618 in the same month last year. Of the number, 46 of these banks maintain their head offices within Central Visayas.

“Financial resources in Central Visayas continue to improve in 2014 and in the first quarter of 2015. There is wider bank presence, higher bank deposits, and more loans granted, which means more capital to fund economic expansion in the region,” Devesa said.

For universal and commercial banks, the number grew from 359 to 391. Meanwhile, thrift banks increased in number, from 120 to 126.

However, things were different for rural and cooperative banks. The number of branches dropped from 139 to 125, indicating that these banks might have transferred some of their branches to another region or closed.

On the other hand, bank density ratio, or banks per municipality in Central Visayas, performed positively. It grew from 4.9 percent in 2013 to 5.2 percent in 2014.

Loans to deposit ratio increased from 36.1 percent in 2013 to 38.3 percent in 2014. The loan to deposit ratio is used to calculate the bank’s ability to cover withdrawals made by its customers.

Net loan portfolio, however, dropped in the region. It declined from 54.6 percent in 2013 to 24.1 percent in 2014.

Deposit liabilities also slowed down from 31.2 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2014. Deposit liabilities are the money that bank clients have put into the bank, which the bank will have to pay back at some point in the future.

Nationwide, the banking industry performed at a better rate, as reflected in the number of branches which grew to 9,810 in March 2015 from the 9,353 branches in March 2014.

The bulk of the banks are in the National Capital Region.

Barangays get emergency vehicles

By Flornisa M. Gitgano

THE Cebu Provincial Government distributed more than P18 million worth of ambulances and mini-dumptrucks to barangays and provincial hospitals. All vehicles left the Capitol with fuel tanks full.

Gov. Hilario Davide III led the turnover of the vehicles at the Capitol parking lot. The governor was assisted by Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and some members of the Provincial Board.

Davide said that the distribution of the vehicles is in line with the administration’s goal to deliver services to residents.

The Provincial Government bought five ambulances at P1.6 million each for the Provincial Health Office and the provincial hospitals in Balamban and the cities of Bogo, Carcar and Danao.


An ambulance worth P1.3 million was given to the City Government of Danao which was represented yesterday by Danao Vice Mayor Ramon “Red” Durano VI.

Thirteen mini-ambulances, worth P205,000 each, were distributed to barangays Cadulawan of Minglanilla; Lamacan and Tabayag of Argao; Don Juan Climaco Sr., Don Andres Soriano and Subayon of Toledo City; Pansoy of Sogod; Basak of Catmon; Kang-actol, Panlaan and Calaboon of Dumanjug; Banhigan of Badian; and Manguiao of Asturias.

Nine barangays received one mini dumptruck each. The beneficiaries are barangays Ubogon of Asturias, Cansaga of Consolacion, Tungkil of Minglanilla, Nug-as of Alcoy, Santo Niño of Malabuyoc, Biasong and Poblacion of Talisay City, Taloot of Argao and Toledo City.

The nine mini dumptrucks were bought for a total of P6.3 million.


Davide told barangay officials to properly maintain the vehicles.

“Hinaot pa unta way babay nga magbati nga wa moabot sa hospital kay way sakyanan (I hope that no woman in labor would fail to reach the hospital because there is no ambulance),” said Magpale.

Provincial General Services Officer Jone Siegfred Sepe said that the vehicles distributed by the Capitol were brand new.

He said that the mini-ambulances in the barangay can also be used by neighboring villages in need.

The vehicles, he said, were requested by the local government units through resolutions from their local legislative councils.

Barangay Captain Peter Cabillada of Barangay Cansaga in Consolacion said that the mini dumptruck will be used to collect garbage.

He said that the vehicle can also be used for evacuation during disasters.

APEC ministers to tackle structural reform in Cebu


MANILA, Aug. 25 (PNA) -- In a bid to enhance regional economic integration, ministers from 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies will meet in Cebu City on Sept. 7 and 8 to review APEC’s structural reform efforts and set the post-2015 agenda of the region.

The APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (SRMM), to be chaired by Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, will focus primarily on addressing issues that impede inclusive growth.

“Guided by this year’s theme, our priority is to facilitate inclusiveness, not only in the regional sense but also within economies. The APEC region has been growing rapidly as a whole but this is in many cases shared unevenly across societies,” said Balisacan.

At the SRMM, the ministers will discuss key issues including challenges in implementing structural reform, their respective economies’ priorities, and areas of collaboration.

Speakers from the APEC Secretariat and the World Bank will also speak on regulatory reform and cooperation on services. This will be followed by a panel discussion among ministers and heads of delegations on the challenges in undertaking structural reform.

Discussions of the SRMM will revolve around five themes. These are 1.) Structural Reform for Inclusive Growth; 2.) Structural Reform and Innovation; 3.) Structural Reform and Services; 4.) Tools for Structural Reform; and 5.) New Directions for Structural Reform in APEC.

At the end of the meeting, the ministers will adopt a post-2015 APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR), which will further enhance the efforts and focus of structural reform initiatives from 2016 to 2020.

NEDA Deputy Director-General Emmanuel F. Esguerra will head the Philippine delegation to this year’s Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (2nd SRMM). The first meeting was held in 2008 in Australia.

President Aquino inspects infra projects in Cebu


CEBU CITY, Aug. 24 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday inspected two newly-completed infrastructure projects in Cebu -- the Mactan Circumferential Road in Lapu-Lapu City and the Sergio Osmena Jr. Boulevard in this city.

The President also attended a political gathering and said that the national government has fully supported the infrastructure projects in the province.

In a briefing, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson bared that of the PhP43 billion worth of projects the agency implemented in Central Visayas since the start of the Aquino administration, PhP23 billion were in Cebu.

According to Singson, major infrastructure projects in the province include 950 kilometers of roads and bridges.

Also included in the province's infrastructure list is the widening of the Cebu North Road from Mandaue City to Bogo City.

”All I ask is for the local government units to help in the widening of the roads,” he said.

In addition, there is an ongoing widening of the Cebu South Road from Naga City to Carcar City.

This is the third visit of the President to Cebu this year. The first on May 1 to mark the Labor Day celebration here, and last June to lead the groundbreaking of the modernization project of Mactan Cebu International Airport.

In the afternoon, the President also attended the “Gathering of Friends in Cebu” at the Cebu Coliseum here, attended by officials from Cebu province and the provinces of Negros Oriental, Bohol, Siquijor, Leyte and Samar.

Capitol installs storm-strong fishing cages

By Flornisa M. Gitgano

THE Provincial Government installed typhoon-resilient fish cages in the 12 towns of northern Cebu that were affected typhoon Yolanda.

At least 28 high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fish cages were turned over and used by fishermen associations in the 12 local government units, more than 21 months after Yolanda hit.

The Capitol explained that the implementation of the project took longer than what was agreed by Capitol and the BFAR because of the procurement process.

In a press statement, Capitol had three failed biddings.

According to the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), the HDPE fish cages were made according to the Capitol’s “build back better” approach.

After typhoon Yolanda hit last Nov. 8, 2013, bamboo-made fish cages in the northern towns were destroyed.

PAO said the HDPE cages can survive strong waves and can last for more than ten years.

Each cages has 9 by 6 meter frame and five-meter in length.

The funds used for the project came from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

BFAR downloaded P33 million to Capitol last year to rehabilitate damaged fish farms and fishing equipment.

These cages can accommodate 3,000 fingerlings.

The Capitol will provide the first batch of fingerlings while the LGU will only have to spend for the feeds.


The LGUs that have availed themselves of the assistance are Bantayan, Madridejos, Santa Fe, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Tabogon, Tabuelan, San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Bogo City.

The PAO said the project is not applicable in the towns of Borbon, Sogod, Tuburan and Pilar, which are also affected by Yolanda, but their fishermen can still get other assistance from the government.

The Capitol is also about to complete the delivery of fishing equipment, such as fish pots, craft pots, nets, fish attracting devices, set longlines and other materials for seaweed farms.

All these will be given to the 16 LGU’s affected by Yolanda.

Josephine Lane Cabuñac, Agriculturist II of PAO, said the procurement was made according to the itemized costing set by BFAR.

She said the Capitol only validated the site and implement the rehabilitation plan.

Cebu provincial gov't launches Cebu Guide app for APEC delegates


MANILA, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- The Cebu provincial government, in partnership with Smart communications, has released the updated travel application Cebu Guide, to give the delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Cebu a handy guide to the top attractions of the province.

Made available by InnoPub Media and mobile leader Smart Communications (Smart) in partnership with the Cebu provincial government, the mobile app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store for Android devices and Apple App Store for iOS. The app can also be downloaded from

The guide lists island attractions - from heritage structures like ancient houses and centuries-old stone churches to white sand beaches and island-hopping destinations, a wide range of land and water activities, the best accommodations, food to try, and important contact numbers.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said the Cebu provincial government was working to make APEC 2015 meetings a success.

He said one of the initiatives was tapping existing partnerships like the Digital Tourism program with SMART and InnoPub.

“By providing delegates with information through the Cebu Guide app, we make their visits meaningful. By using the platform for announcements, we are also helping Cebuanos get the latest updates on APEC activities,” Davide said.

The app directory also provides a complete listing of Department of Tourism-accredited tour guides, tour operators, transport services as well as consular offices and emergency contacts like police and hospitals.

Tourist attractions, hotels and other locations featured in the app have GPS data and users need only to tap the "check location" link to be guided on how to get to a place.

Contact details are also active and users need only to tap on phone numbers to call a guide, tour operator, police station or any person or organization listed on the app.

Smart Communications said it is happy to support the Cebu provincial government in promoting what the province can offer to the APEC delegates.

A comprehensive and handy guide to Cebu, the Cebu Guide can help the delegates maximize their stay in the country, it said noting this is aligned with the company’s digital tourism program which aims to enhance the delivery of tourism information through the use of mobile and digital technologies.

A chapter of the travel guide will carry important Cebu updates, such as developments pertaining to the anticipated APEC meetings scheduled from August to October. The locally-relevant APEC updates will be provided by the Cebu Provincial Government.

The mobile app has a notification function that allows users to immediately receive information on such things as traffic changes like rerouting and road closures for the duration of the APEC 2015 meetings in Cebu.

The app is released as part of the nationwide Digital Tourism program by SMART and InnoPub Media in collaboration with local government units and private organizations. The program started in Cebu and is now in Iloilo, Baguio, Albay and Bohol and is set for expansion in key tourism areas in the country.

The APEC 2015 Third Senior Officials' Meeting and Related Meetings (SOM 3) will be held in Cebu starting Aug. 22 to Sept. 6.

Central Visayas welcomed 2.1 million visitors this year

By Katlene O. Cacho

PROVINCES in Central Visayas welcomed 2.107 million visitors during the first half of 2015.

Records from the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 show local and domestic tourists grew by 6.20 percent from January to June this year, from 1.984 million in 2014.

Domestic arrivals dropped by 1.36 percent from 1.235 million to 1.218 million this year. However, foreign arrivals posted a significant growth of 18.44 percent from 742,947 to 879,936 during the first semester.

Arrivals in Cebu grew by 2.83 percent, from 1.946 million to 1.539 million.

According to economist Bernardo Villegas, the continued growth in tourism helps the country achieve the six to seven percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth eyed in the next three to four years.

Villegas noted that there are about 40 million Filipinos discovering the numerous tourist destinations spread out all over the country, which will continue to sustain growth the country’s tourism sector, providing livelihood to local communities and helping rural areas generate revenues.

In a business forum held here, Villegas encouraged local entrepreneurs to place investments in tourism, especially in Cebu, whose charm still continues to captivate more and more tourists.

The economics professor specifically pointed out Siquijor, Camotes, and Malapascua as ideal destinations for tourism investments. He noted the enhanced air connectivity between the country and overseas, as well as the presence of nautical highway, which he credited to the Arroyo administration, which will spur more travel and tourism-related businesses.

Villegas said the country’s jewel is its young population, who are determined to spend and travel.

Korea remained the region’s top source market, which grew by 26.28 percent to 319,739 arrivals this year, from 253,203 arrivals in 2014.

Taiwan, on the other hand, posted the highest growth during the period at 107.18 percent, from 7,772 arrivals to 16,102 this year.

Japan, which is the region’s second top source market, grew by 22.79 percent to 136,123 arrivals, followed by tourists from the United States, which grew by 13.88 percent or 81,473.

Arrivals from China grew by 16.82 percent from 32,750 to 38,257. Australia, on the other hand, posted 29,668 arrivals during the first half, up by 13.84 percent while guests from United Kingdom slightly grew by 3.59 percent to 20,105.

Other markets also grew significantly.

Germany posted 15.46 percent growth or 19,545 arrivals, followed by Canada, whose growth from last year grew by 5.33 percent to 19,085 arrivals. France posted 29.66 percent growth or 17,942 arrivals.

The Philippines recorded consistent growth in arrivals for the first half of the year, according to the DOT. Latest figures show the country welcomed 2.6 million visitors, posting a 7.65 percent increase over the same months of 2014 at 2.4 million.

Within the six-month period, the month of January still recorded the biggest arrivals at 479,149, while the biggest growth was registered in May 2015, with an increase of 13.53 percent.

Earnings generated from tourism activities in the first half of 2015 grew by 1.16 percent, aggregating to P111.05 billion from the P109.77 billion recorded last year.

For June alone, visitor receipts amounted to P17.14 billion.

Air arrivals to the country for June 2015 was recorded at 387,313 visitors, while those who entered the country by sea registered 3,173 visitors.

Manila received the biggest arrivals at 273,626 or 70.07 percent of the total arrivals. Cebu’s share was at 15.65 percent, hosting 61,121 visitors for June 2015. Kalibo received the third highest arrivals of 36,216 visitors, which constituted 9.27 percent of the total.

On the other hand, arrivals by sea, which constituted 0.81 percent, recorded 3,173 arrivals. Davao received the most number of visitors entering by sea at 1,152, while Batangas followed with 1,041 visitors.

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