Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco of the Department of Tourism (DOT) urged the DOTregional offices in the Visayas and Mindanao on Thursday (July 7) to maintain contact with local government units (LGUs) and stakeholders to ensure the alignment of tourism development activities.
Secretary Frasco met with the top officials of DOT Region 6 (Western Visayas), Region 7 (Central Visayas), Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Region 11 (Davao Region), Region 12 (SOCKSARGEN), and Region 13 (CARAGA) in the first leg of her listening tours as tourism chief at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu.
“Moving forward, I would like for us, in the same way that I am reaching out to you, to continuously reach out to our local government officials and local stakeholders because I believe that the model for that—which has been Cebu—has proven to be very successful in that, despite the pandemic, domestic tourism continued to thrive because DOT Region, the Provincial Government, local government officials, and private stakeholders were all aligned. This coordination across all regions is essential to the success of the Department’s initiatives, as stated by Secretary Frasco.
“The reality is that the success or failure of our sector depends on the success or failure of our regions, as these are where our tourist destinations are located,” the tourism head emphasized.
To review, Frasco declared that she will embark on “listening tours” to learn firsthand about the challenges and issues confronting various tourism zones and stakeholders. In addition, the Secretary aims to initiate the process of examining the present difficulties facing the tourism industry through the tour. Availability and utilization of funds, tourism infrastructure, and transportation were among of the topics discussed with regional offices.
Frasco has mandated the consolidation and evaluation of the Department’s regional offices’ work and financial plans in order to maximize the Department’s budget.
In accordance with her directive to improve access to tourism locations, Frasco evaluated the possibilities of constructing more air and seaports and extra routes to facilitate connections for domestic and international tourists.
“I’m also hopeful that you’ll be receptive to the changes we’d like to introduce to the Department, if for no other reason than to accomplish our president’s objective of equalizing possibilities for tourist promotion and growth throughout the Philippines. On the one hand, we want to exploit the potential of our well-known tourist destinations, and on the other, we want to develop locations that have not necessarily received comparable attention,” the tourism chief exclaimed.
All authorities present at the conference acknowledged their appreciation for Frasco’s initiative to conduct consultations. “We are enthusiastic about this government since our Secretary is giving great attention to local problems. DOT-Region 10 Director Marie Elaine Unchuan remarked, “We can see that she is serious and honest about enhancing tourism governance and sustaining partnership with the LGUs.”
“We are pleased about this change because we now have an attentive Secretary. Director Tanya Virginia Rabat-Tan of DOT-Region 11 stated, “It is crucial that we have a Secretary who understands and supports the challenges facing the regions.”
Director of DOT-Region 8 Karina Rose Tiopes commented, “With Secretary Frasco at the helm of the DOT, we are certain that the tourism industry’s future is bright.”