ILOILO CITY — South Koreans residing in Iloilo, majority of them students, remain hopeful that direct flights to and from Incheon will push through.

Moon Dae Jin, president of the Iloilo Korean United Community Association, said they are waiting for an airline that would serve the route, which is seen to encourage more Koreans to visit Iloilo City.

“We are trying to make direct flight schedules from Iloilo, but we can’t assure right now. I hope Philippine Airlines or Air Asia could make possible the direct flights,” Mr. Moon said.

There are currently about 2,000 South Koreans living in Iloilo.

Last year, Korean Consul General Lee Kiseog raised the possibility of having Iloilo-Incheon flights during his visit to the city, where he met with provincial Governor Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. and city Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

Mr. Moon who has been staying in the city for 17 years now, said he believes Iloilo City is one of the safest in the Philippines.

“We feel very, very safe in Iloilo,” he said.

He added that Koreans here do not feel threatened by the alleged widespread illegal drug problem in the city.

“There are three simple reasons why they chose Iloilo: It’s safe, peaceful, and clean,” he said.

Lee Jin Cheol, director of the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in the Philippines, also lauded the peace and order situation here.

Mr. Lee was in Iloilo City last week to attend the premiere of the 2017 Korean Film Festival, which was held in six cities.

“It’s my first time in Iloilo and judging from the atmosphere, I think it is a very, very safe place. I heard from the Korean society that the taxi drivers are nice and they don’t deceive anybody,” he said.

The KCC director added he was impressed by the infrastructure growth in the area.

“It is a very good city and attractive city which offers a friendly tourism for Koreans,” he said. — Louine Hope U. Conserva