Operation tourists in uniform
Jul 25, 2013
OLONGAPO CITY—Mayor Rolen C. Paulino has forged a joint project with Roberto V. Garcia, chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to ensure a “wholesome” short visit experience of US Navy and Marine servicemen allowed to spend their liberty time in this city and at the Subic Bay Freeport.
Aside from ensuring the safety and protection of the visitors, Paulino vowed to seek the cooperation of local businessmen not to take advantage of the influx these servicemen by overcharging them when they patronize their establishments.
Garcia for his part said he will not oppose the granting of liberty area to include Olongapo thereby allowing the foreign servicemen tourists to sample real Filipino hospitality outside the former US Naval base secured area.
Paulino admitted that the major concerned expressed by outgoing US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., when he sought an audience with the incoming city mayor was the protection of US servicemen while out in the city.
Thomas admitted that there will be increase visitations of US Naval vessels and personnel in the coming months and Washington wanted to find out if the new Olongapo City government welcomes the influx of their soldiers.
Olongapo as former host of the US Seventh Fleet prior to the end of the US bases agreement in 1992 was the liberty haven.
Paulino said movements of the tourists will be limited to the city’s main streets, Magsaysay Drive, Gordon Avenue, and Rizal Avenue after sunsets, but during day time, they can visit the commercial areas at downtown Bajac-Bajac district.
Recently Paulino ordered the round-up of mendicants in the city by the local DSWD unit and warned parents of the minor children that they will held accountable if they will be found wondering at unholy hours.
Paulino also vowed to clear the City of drug pushers and assured that there will be a no left up drug campaign to be launched once the new police director of his choice will be assigned to the city.
Olongapo must not fail in its tourists in uniform project because of the economic benefits it will contribute, since Olongapo is now facing serious economic and financial dilemma due to the huge billions indebtedness left by the former city leadership of Bong Gordon Jr.