President  Benigno Aquino raised the possibility of the country playing host to almost five million tourists this year—on track to meet his administration’s target of 10 million foreign visitors when his term ends in 2016.

The President’s pronouncement was inspired by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.’s report that there were more than 400,000 tourist arrivals in the country in January—a 17.5-percent increase from the almost 350,000 visitors in the same month in 2011.

Aquino made the remarks while stressing the need to quickly process information for effective governance during the launch of Hewlett-Packard’s one-of-a-kind and state-of-the-art mission control center and executive briefing center in Taguig City.

“We get about three million tourists every year. Four hundred thousand per month—and I am told that the first half of the year is not where the peak comes in, it’s in the second half—translates to 4.8 million tourist arrivals for this particular year,” the President said.

“When we started our administration, the common figure or the figure on average that we get as tourist arrivals is just three million. So we are actually on target to reach the 10 million figure by the time we get to the end of our term by 2016,” he added.

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