DOT, BID check on Korean-owned establishments in Davao City

DOT Southeastern Mindanao chief Sonia Garcia admitted some Koreans have put up enterprises in the city without permits, but attributed it to "ignorance" of the requirements.

She said they had jointly visited establishments reported to be owned and run by foreigners, zeroing in to the Koreans for now.

She said the city council initiative, which earned the nod of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, prompted them to start establishing mechanisms to prevent a backlash on the city's tourism and the economy.

She said they wanted to prevent what happened in Cebu City where the government closed down establishments that catered exclusively to Koreans only.

"That cannot be. It should not happen here," she said.

She said the move is meant to straighten up legal gaps in the government's effort to improve the city's tourism business.

She said the government has lured Koreans to the city but they want to make sure those who come are good tourists and investors.

"We want you to pay the right taxes," Garcia told reporters Wednesday addressing the Koreans doing business in the city.

"Good tourists bets good tourism," she said.

She said they have not kept track yet of who among at least 2, 000 Koreans in the city operate businesses.

On June 20, the city council approved a resolution urging the BID to check if the business establishments are legitimate.

Garcia stressed they are not subjecting the foreigners to a crackdown but to help them operate legally.

"There is no hanky panky in the establishment of these (Korean) businesses. They are just actually not fully aware that we require such permits and licenses," Garcia explained.

She said some Koreans had their businesses registered under their Filipina wives’ names.

Davao City has reportedly drawn Korean investors to pour money in hotels, casino, restaurants, travel agencies, dormitories, and tutorial schools amid increasing influx of foreign tourists. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)