CORREGIDOR, SUN CRUISES AND THE WUHAN-COVID DISASTER May 17, 2020 9:02:49 GMT 8 chadhill and beirutvet like this
Post by Registrar on May 17, 2020 9:02:49 GMT 8
Dateline MANILA, 16 May 2020.
Information, a mix of both news and commentary, is reaching me from a number of sources to the effect that SUN CRUISES/CORREGIDOR has ceased operations.
Sun Cruises operates the Tour Boat, the Transvia bus system and the Corregidor Inn. Locking the doors at Sun Cruises effectively closes down easy access to Corregidor. The status of general access to Corregidor is not known to me.
The "Sun Cruises" operation on Corregidor is but a small aspect of the operations of the Magsaysay Group of Companies. The Magsaysay Group is predominantly involved with shipping, logistics and the deployment of Filipino OFW's for international ship crewing purposes. The "Wuhan Effect" has resulted in an estimated 45,000 maritime OFW's becoming jobless, and being repatriated to the Philippines. Thousands of these are ship crews repatriated home by Magsaysay at its cost. Upon arrival in the Philippines, they have been placed under quarantine for 14 days in hotels and the athlete accommodation areas within Clark Economic Zone. A number of cruise liners, said to be about 25, are presently parked in Manila Bay, "under maintenance."
From Source JMR, I have as follows:
"... received a news that SCI businesses on the island shall permanently stop operations effective today May 16, 2020. Its a very challenging year for them.. First when the Taal Volcano erupted last January and the 2nd one, this pandemic that may suspend tourism for a longer period of time.."
From "C", I have this report:
"Sun Cruises, called me up this morning that the company is closing."
Doris Ho had been believed to be supporting the Corregidor aspect of the business, which has not been a profit source, for love of country and its history. Her advisers took the view that cold-blooded accountants and bean counters could be expected to take. "The pandemic was the final nail."
While there are any number of commentaries and talking heads making pronouncements and prognostications along the lines of "TOURISM DEAD IN THE PHILIPPINES", I prefer to consider that "TOURISM IS NOT DEAD IN THE PHILIPPINES, ITS JUST RESTING."
CORREGIDOR FOUNDATION INC, which as the island's administrative and governance authority is ultimately responsible for the island, is caught on the spot. CFI does not consider Corregidor Historic Society of sufficient relevance to issue any statements, keeping its approach "commercial in confidence." CFI has never been a customer-centric authority.
I have fears for the future of Corregidor due, in part, to the overwhelming presence in the Philippines of POGO's, Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, which operate online gambling within the country for Chinese backed syndicates. Gambling in China is illegal under Chinese law and has been officially outlawed since the Communist Party took power in 1949. Any form of gambling by Chinese citizens, including online-gambling, gambling overseas, opening casinos overseas to attract citizens of China as primary customers, is considered illegal. As a consequence, humongously huge amounts of capital is being invested by Chinese-based enterprises in countries within China's sphere of economic influence, of which the Philippines is now one. These investments are not always to the economic and social benefit of the general populations of those countries, but are certainly to the benefit of those friendly to the Chinese elite. That there is a significant money laundering industry is played down officially, local authorities seeming to take their cue from the “soft stance” of President Duterte on issues involving China.
In early March 2020, the Filipino media carried reports by prominent Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the committee on national defense and security, that "some 3,000 members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may have entered the country as tourists or as workers in Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs)." China may have already begun taking advantage of what they considered the growing security void caused by President Duterte’s termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US.
In 2018, more than a million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines, up from just 163,689 a decade ago. By way of interest, among 180 unruly foreigners barred from entry into the Philippines in 2019, Chinese nationals were dubbed as the rudest to arrive at Philippine airports, based on statistics from the Bureau of Immigration (BI). Sixty-three Chinese Nationals, or 35%, were the most represented unwanted arrivals. Given the total number of Chinese arrivals, that they sourced the most significant number of refusals is hardly surprising. Other refusals included 23 Koreans, 10 Americans, nine Japanese, eight Australians and five Britons. My advice - when arriving in the Philippines, STFU, say "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon" or "Good Evening" as the case may be, and smile at everybody, no matter how the flight might have been.