PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday gave the public a glimpse of how he would spend his days after the end of his term in Malacañang two-and-a-half years from now.
The president pictured an easier life, with plans to take a tour of Bohol as among the things he wants to do after stepping down in June 2016.
Speaking before a crowd in Bohol, which was devastated by a powerful earthquake last year, Aquino expressed particular interest in the province’s renowned river cruise.
“I was told that there’s a river cruise here and there are fireflies when it’s dark and not raining,” he said.
“Maybe around August 2016, if not September, I hope to visit these places and experience the river cruise that you boast about,” he added.
The President was in Bohol as part of his commemoration of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. For the first time in his presidency, Aquino decided to skip the anniversary rites in Metro Manila and visited provinces ravaged by disasters instead.
His first stop was Davao Oriental on Monday. The province was hit by typhoon Pablo in December 2012.
To the delight of his Boholano audience, Aquino said tourism will be among his legacies.
“I will see to it that I will visit you again but I guarantee you that in 2016 I will be among the number of tourists who will be here with you,” he promised.
Aquino said tourism in Bohol will be one of the province’s strengths so that rehabilitation of various tourism sites will get a bigger share of government attention.
Many old churches were reduced to rubble when a 7.2-magnitude quake rocked the province late last year.
“We are looking into how we can maximize the tourism potential of the entire Philippines, especially Bohol,” he stressed.
At the start of his presidency, Aquino said there were only three million foreign tourists who visited the country. That number grew to 4.7 million in 2013 despite the calamities.
“Our target is a little above five million. But I am confident that this will reach 10 million [tourists],” he added.