By Yas D. Ocampo
Davao City — The city government has asked the United States (US) to consider softening the language of their travel advisories about Davao City on the safety of American citizens here, to improve the image of the area.
City administrator Zuleika Lopez had made the request during the visit of Ambassador Sung Kim on Dec. 14, only 13 days after arriving in the country.
In an interview with media, Lopez however clarified that the city understood that the US needed to protect its own citizens. She also clarified that the advisory is not on travel ban.
“Of course we are requesting them kung pwedeng i-soften or lift yung advisory. But of course they have their set guidelines on how to take care of their own nationals,” Lopez said.
“Actually ang sa kanila naman eh it’s not a travel ban, let that be made clear to everyone na there is no travel ban existing. What is actually happening is a travel advisory. Kung pupunta yung national nila sa Davao City or sa Mindanao for that matter, especially sa western part of Mindanao, they have to be more safety-conscious,” Lopez said.
“But as far as they are concerned, Davao City is not among the hot areas. So hindi naman din, so we are okay,” Lopez said.
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had earlier met the US ambassador.
“My meeting with him, albeit very brief, was cordial and was an opportunity for us to renew our friendly relationship and ties with the United States government and the American people,” Mayor Duterte said.
Duterte was delighted to receive the attention of the representative of the powerful nation, only days into his appointment.
“We are happy that US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim chose to visit Davao City today, Dec. 14, only 13 days after arriving in the country,” she said.
“We are also very grateful for his expression of support for our fight against terrorism as he commiserated with the families, the survivors, and the victims of the grisly Sept. 2 bombing in Davao.”