Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Safety measures may lure Jap retirees to RP

The Philippines is a beautiful country to live. There is no argument about this claim. Comparatively, it has a tropical climate, white and pristine beaches and warmth smile and hospitality of the Filipinos.

But despite these advantages, only a few hundreds Japanese retirees had been attracted to stay in the Philippines. Do we know the reason why only a few of them are eager to invest their fortunes in the Philippines? Mind you, even a grade one pupil can answer this question.

Like any developing country, the Philippines is having a hard time dealing with its peace and order problem. For many years, it has been like this and the government seems helpless in curtailing the unrest in Mindanao. But it is not so much in the part of Luzon, but a few basic problems that any visitor or resident would encounter at any given day.

Compared to Thailand, which received an estimated 1.2 million Japanese visitors last year, the Philippine got only something like 300 Japanese visitors in that same period.

Perhaps, the government must address the personal safety of the Japanese citizens visiting the country. Besides, there is a need to put in place proper sanitation measures on where these foreign nationals will be staying. The village where these people will be relocated must adhere to the established international standards on safety and hygiene. Nobody in their right minds will ever gamble their lives if their personal safety and health are at risk.

Another important thing that the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Retirement Authority must address is the strengthening of the tourism police in places where tourists are concentrated. But how many tourism police do we have at the moment. If not, the DOT and the PRA may tap the services of the local governments in areas where they can be most effective.
Unless these criteria are met, foreign retirees may not be convinced that living in the Philippines after retirement will be a priority.

Besides, government officials and politicians, who are linked to scandals and other wrong-doings must know how to step down, if only to preserve the Filipinos' dignity and honor. It is not enough that we have cheaper real estate properties, when the retirees' lives are at stake when they go out of their domain.

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