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December 3, 2022

Government cooperation imperative for tourism success- Frasco

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In her first meeting with the media, incoming DOT Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco stated that her major priority is to help in improving the economy by harnessing the marketability of developed tourism sites and, at the same time, increase awareness and equal opportunity to other sites who have not yet been given equal opportunity for promotion and product development. 

Frasco made the pronouncement on Monday (June 27), as she visited the DOT Central Office in Makati—where she received a warm welcome from the Department’s employees and officials who committed their full support to the Secretary-designate.

“I think it’s very important to have a multidimensional approach to tourism in that we not only focus on our natural resources but also on the development and promotion of our people and our products. I believe that national and local government cooperation is imperative for our tourism plans and programs to succeed because we all know that if we uplift the economic status of one LGU, and translate that to the over 1,400 plus municipalities, 81 provinces, hundreds of cities across the country, uplifting each of their economies will uplift the economy of our nation as a whole. It is this inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and collaborative tourism governance that I intend to bring to the Department of Tourism,” she elaborated.

In doing these, Frasco, who is also a lawyer, emphasized that while there is a theoretical notion of the importance of national and local government cooperation, there is a mandate by the Local Government Code requiring prior coordination between the national and the local government.

“And there is the reality,” she asserted.

On the question of continuity or introducing her own plans and strategies, Frasco maintained that the prime consideration would be President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. plans and programs that will set the direction for DOT aided by inputs that her team intend to bring in.

“We have a general vision that is set by our President to revitalize the tourism industry, and to ensure that it is inclusive in that we spread development to the countryside. And this means giving focus to all regions in the Philippines, including Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to replicate best practices in tourism that have already been proven successful in the various regions, and to introduce innovations and digitalization where necessary. The idea being that we improve the overall tourist experience, not only to bring back the tourism numbers that have been lost, but also to harness potential markets to further increase the number of tourists that will come into the country,” she added.

In the coming days of transition, Frasco stated that discussions of what will be continued and what can be expected in the days to come will be the main activity of DOT, fully cognizant of the importance and the imminence of reviving and revitalizing the tourism industry with emphasis to develop domestic tourism considering the vast potential this will give to small businesses, the livelihood that it will generate, and recognizing as well the economic capacity of Filipinos to be able to support local and to support local tourism establishments.

“I intend to be a listening Tourism Secretary. To listen to the hopes and aspirations of our local government units as far as the development of their respective tourist destinations, and to find a way to make their desires cohesive as well with the overarching desire of the administration of President-elect Marcos to expand countryside development, to further develop our country as a tourism destination, and to give equal opportunities to all.

So I hope to be able to give truth to both the theory and the legal mandate of national and local government cooperation.”

Prior to her role as the incoming Secretary of Tourism, Frasco has been serving as Mayor of Liloan, Cebu since June 2016. A multi-awarded local chief executive, Frasco was also rated as the Top Performing Mayor in Central Visayas in the same year and is also the National Vice President of the League of Municipalities.


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