Rest of Visayas guvs sign manifesto of support

TACLOBAN CITY– The governors of the Visayas have signed a manifesto of support to Tourism Sec. Christina Garcia Frasco and its controversial ‘Love Philippines’ tourism campaign.

The manifesto of support was released by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas which is headed by Usec. Terence Calatrava.

Of the 16 governors of Visayas, two have not or failed to sign the manifesto which was posted on the social media account of the OPAV on Sunday (July 9).

The two governors whose names and signatures did not appear in the manifesto were Jose Miraflores of Aklan and Eugenio Lacson of Negros Occidental.

In Eastern Visayas, all six governors have signed the manifesto, namely, Gerard Roger Espina of Biliran; Damian Mercado of Southern Leyte; Carlos Jericho Petilla of Leyte; Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar; Edwin Ongchuan of Northern Samar, and Sharee Ann Tan of Samar.

In the wake of the controversy, local government units in the region used the logo of the ‘Love Philippines’ on their respective tourism promotional campaign, showing their support for Frasco and her tourism campaign.

Jhon Allen Berbon, the information officer of the provincial government of Northern Samar, said that as a proof that they are supportive of the campaign they have invited Sec. Frasco to attend the provincial launching of the ‘Love Philippines’ campaign next month.

“The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, together with the governors of the different local government units in the Visayas Region, declares our full and unwavering support to the DOT’s rebranding of the Philippine tourism campaign,” part of the manifesto said.

“It is our firm belief that the DOT, under the leadership of Sec. Christina Garcia Frasco, poses no other interest than to bolster the tourism framework of the country despite of the setbacks and adjustments that we, as a nation, had to unfortunately encounter during the pandemic,” it added.

It further said, “We are confident that as soon as the matter fades into insignificance, the superior intentions of the good Secretary and her commitment to developing and promoting the Philippines to the world will prevail.”

The officials then urged the public to be with the mission and vision’ of the DOT and ‘be our country’s beloved envoy of goodwill…and how we Love the Philippines.’

The “Love Philippines’ campaign came under fire after it was discovered that it used stock footage from other countries.