ENLISTMENT OF FILIPINOS INTO U.S. ARMED FORCES SOUGHT; Tourist Arrivals Expected to Reach Peak This Month

Article excerpt

Byline: LEONARDO Q. BELEN

Tourism Secretary Richard J. Gordon said recently that US President George W. Bushs visit to the Philippines on Oct. 18, Saturday, will boost the countrys tourism industry with a high percentage increase.

Gordon said that visitors from neighboring countries have already begun to arrive in the Philippines to witness the US Presidents visit, even as he welcomed and commended a Filipino-American trade mission which has arrived earlier to promote stronger bonding between Fil-Ams and Filipinos here.

Gordon said that the death of terrorist-bomber Al-Ghozi, which was welcomed by world leaders, will enhance our image and has proven that despite initial setbacks, the long arm of the law can catch up and contain threats of terrorism and justice can be served in this country.

With the death of the notorious terrorist, Gordon added that the tourism industry is greatly relieved.

The Endowment for Strategic Leadership for Asian Americans, Inc. headed by Nelie Birog-Naoe (vice chairman and president) and Ernesto Mateo Gange (founding chairman and executive director) were welcomed by Gordon and the team is here to pursue positive developments for Filipinos here and abroad.

Gange said that his group is seeking the revival of voluntary enlistment of Filipino citizens into the Armed Forces of the United States.

Enlistment of Filipinos into the US Armed Forces was cut off when the US military bases in the Philippines were closed in 1992.

Gange said that the revival of voluntary enlistment of Filipinos into the US Armed Forces would mean job opportunities.

He said that they will appeal to Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to help them present to Bush a resolution on the subject.

Gordon volunteered his help, that he would help them bring the matter to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Gange said that the hiring of Filipinos into the US Armed Forces began in 1947 with the signing of agreement on US military basis.

Gange stressed that while the US government and the Philippines are now conducting joint military exercises, it is logical that the enlistment of Filipinos in the US Armed Forces be revived. …