Poor travelers busan: ‘It’s not just our country’
Busan, Philippines — The Philippines has a long history of poor travelers, including Filipinos who left their homes to seek work and then ended up in other countries, where they were treated poorly or worse, said the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte.
“It’s a problem, but it’s not a big problem,” Duterte said at the National Tourism Authority (NTA) in Pasay City.
“It’s the country that is making this problem.”
Duterte’s remarks came in response to questions about a new government initiative to help poor travelers avoid travel through poverty-stricken countries.
Diaspora tourism has been increasing in recent years, particularly in China and South Korea, which have long been popular destinations for the millions of Filipinos from poor countries who seek work.
But the Philippines has been among the least visited countries for poor travelers.
In recent years the number of Filipinas seeking employment has declined dramatically, with unemployment in the country now at around 10 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Philippines has also been hit hard by the global economic downturn.
The country has suffered the worst economic crisis in the Americas and the most severe downturn in the world since the Great Depression.
The president also said that the Philippines had been the recipient of “several billion dollars in aid” from the United States since his presidency began in May.
President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the media after visiting the National Museum of Historical and Artifacts in Manila, Philippines March 6, 2020.
Duterte has been criticized for his treatment of his critics.
He said he will be able to give more aid in the future, but that he wants to see a positive response from the international community.
“I will say that we need to be the most transparent, the most open and the best ambassadors of the Philippines,” Duterte told reporters.
“And I am saying it so that they understand that we are the ones that are going to be here.”
While Duterte has said he would “give more aid,” his administration has not provided concrete numbers for the funds.