June 28, 2019

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines, through President Arsenio J. Lizaso, joined other Filipino political and business leaders in a meeting with foreign counterparts in Tokyo, Japan recently.  CCP was invited by the Department of Trade and Industry to join the Philippine delegation led by President Rodrigo Duterte in a meeting with leaders of the Japanese travel industry, and invite them to invest in the Philippines.  Present at the meeting were DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Honeylet Avanceña (partner of President Duterte), Senator-elect Bong Go, Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas, Quezon Province governor David Suarez and congresswoman Ana Marie Villaraza-Suarez, Department of Transportation (DOTr) secretary Arthur Tugade, congressman Martin Romualdez, and former House of Representatives speaker Sonny Belmonte. 

At the said event, organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, the CCP President met with Mr. Cato Ochi (Senior Councilor, Special Advisor to the Chairman, Assisting and Promoting Official Development Assistance), and Mr. Naokazu Takemoto (Deputy Secretary General of the National Diet Members Alliance for Realizing the world Expo in Osaka) to discuss about plans of the 2 Japanese representatives to produce a film centering on a Japanese straggler.  

The tourism and travel sector stand to benefit from the Build, Build, Build program of the Philippine government, which has a number of ongoing transportation infrastructure development projects to achieve seamless travel to and around the archipelago.

The travel industry meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte was a historic occasion, signaling the importance held by Japan as the country’s fourth biggest foreign tourist market.

At the travel industry meeting, President Duterte cautioned that the Philippines is receiving a lot of tourists now and soon, some areas might not be able to accommodate the investors for lack of facilities.  He suggested for the Japanese who are interested to go into business to participate in building resorts for their citizens. And with the improved airports and seaports, inter-island travel will be easier, more comfortable and with more providers coming in, more affordable, the President added. 

The Philippines played host to 631,801 Japanese travelers in 2018, an 8.15% growth versus 2017.  With no less than the President in attendance, more business and investment leads are expected to yield reciprocal arrangements to further strengthen Japan-Philippine tourism relations.