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Mayor Dalipe leads ZamPen RDC meeting with focus on foreign embassies’ travel advisories

Zamboanga City Mayor John Dalipe has presided over a two-day Regional Development Council (RDC) 9 meeting.

One of the issues discussed was the travel advisories issued by some foreign embassies in areas in Mindanao despite the improving peace and order situation, particularly in Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen).

Dalipe, who chaired the Council, convened the joint Advisory and Executive Committee of the RDC9 on February 6-7 at the Celebrity Hall of the Grand Astoria Hotel.

During the discussion, the city government said Police Brig. Gen. Joey Masauding of Police Regional Office (PRO) 9 was asked about his take on the travel advisories of foreign embassies, the most recent of which was that of the Canadian Embassy last January 10.

The Canadian Embassy urged its nationals to “avoid all travel” to the following areas due to security risk: Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Sultan Kudarat.

Masauding explained that PRO9 has acted accordingly on those travel advisories as it continues to implement high alert level throughout the region with the deployment of more police personnel.

The RDC9, the highest planning and policy-making body in the region, first took swipe at the travel advisories during its regular meeting last year in Isabela City, where a joint resolution was passed, calling for the lifting of the travel ban on foreign nationals in the region.

Nevertheless, the city government said the participants agreed that the travel advisories should serve as a challenge to the Philippine National Police, the local government units, and other stakeholders to further improve the peace and order in the region with particular focus on improving tourism infrastructures and combating the “perception” in social media.

The PNP was also directed to sustain its five-year streak of no bombing and no kidnapping in ZamPen.

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