UK lifts travel warning over southern Cebu 
Beaches are the top attraction of Cebu and other islands in the Central Visayas
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal/The Freeman

UK lifts travel warning over southern Cebu 

Ryan Macasero ( - February 8, 2019 - 1:02pm

MANILA, Philippines —  The United Kingdom lifted its travel warning over southern Cebu on Thursday

The UK government updated its advisory which earlier warned of a terrorism risk in towns “up to and including” Badian and Dalaguete on the island of Cebu.

These were the only parts outside of Mindanao included in the January 27 advisory, which was issued after twin bombings killed over 20 people and injured over 100 others in Jolo, Sulu.

READ: Cebu governor supports asking UK gov’t to lift travel advisory on parts of island

Earlier this week, Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Michael Dino said he was planning to write a letter to the government of the United Kingdom to lift the travel advisory, saying there was “no basis” for the advisory. reached out to Dino for comment but he has yet to reply as of this post.

Dino previously said he was worried about the impact of the advisories on tourism in Cebu and the Central Visayas. According to data from the Department of Tourism, tourist arrivals in the Central Visayas reached over 6.8 million in 2018.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said they supported Dino's plan to write the UK government about the advisory.

While the region had been previously insulated from major terrorist attacks, in April 2017, security forces clashed with members of the Abu Sayyaf in the town of Inabanga, Bohol, directly across the strait from Cebu City. This was the first time the group, which usually operates in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, was detected in the region.

The series of encounters from April to May left at least 11 members of the terrorist group dead and six military and police officers injured. 

The UK government did not state a specific reason for the issuance of the travel advice aside from “terror threats.” It also did not say why the warning in southern Cebu has been lifted. 

It has maintained its advise "against all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups."

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office also advises against "all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao (excluding Camiguin, Dinagat and Siargao Islands) due to the threat of terrorism."

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