Issue of December 3, 2017
     
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2017
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Filipinos encouraged to bring home a friend this Christmas
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The Department of Tourism has revived the “Bring Home a Friend,” a 1994 program that aims to increase tourist arrivals in the country in time with traditionally long Christmas season in the Philippines.

The new program, implemented during the term of DOT Sec. Mina Gabor, has been launched by DOT Sec. Wanda Teo to encourage Filipinos to invite their foreign friends to come and visit the Philippines and win handsome prizes.

Teo in a statement said that the project would be a thrilling experience for Filipinos, who are known for their genuine hospitality and for celebrating Christmas for the longest time.

The Filipino sponsors, who either reside in the country or overseas, stand to win an array of prizes, adding excitement to the program that will run for six months from Oct. 15 to April 15, 2018.

Major prizes awaiting the sponsors include a condominium from Megaworld Corporation, a brand new Toyota Vios, and a P200,000 gift certificate at Duty-Free Philippines while their foreign guests can win round-trip international flight tickets and tour packages to Palawan, Cebu, and Davao.

To join, the sponsor must register via the Bring Home a Friend webpage accessible via DOT’s website tourism.gov.ph. Registration may also be accomplished at Bring Home a Friend booths set up at selected international airports in the Philippines.

The number of eligible entries will also depend on the points they earn corresponding to the guest’s country of origin: Asia and Oceania/Australia – two; Africa, Middle East, Europe, and America – three.

The more foreign friends the sponsors invite, the more entries they can submit.

Based on the 2015 report of the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are 9.1 million overseas Filipinos. More than three million reside in the United States of America while more than two million are based in the Middle East.

Other countries with large numbers of Filipinos are Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Italy, and Australia.

Employees of DOT and its attached agencies and their relatives to the third degree are not allowed to join BHAF.


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