President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants the Department of Tourism (DOT) to be a major contributor to the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco said on Monday.
In remarks during the DOT’s flag-raising ceremony, Frasco enjoined the department’s workforce to “not only continue to do the work that we have been doing, but we must exert extra effort to give everything that we can within what is humanly possible.”
Tourism was considered among the hardest hit sector of the Philippine economy at the height of the pandemic.
Frasco cited her experience as mayor of Liloan in Cebu province, a major tourism hotspot, before her appointment in the DOT.
“The work that we do here in the central office and in the regional offices all over the Philippines is important because it will determine whether or not the Department of Tourism can continue to be a potent force for economic resuscitation and economic survival,” she said.
In addition to crafting national policy, she said the DOT would be “in touch with the realities on the ground” and give attention to tourism sites, peoples, and products that “have not necessarily been given equal opportunity.”
“All of our partners in the local government units in the 81 provinces, over 140 cities, and over 1,400 municipalities across the Philippines, to extend to them the hand of collaboration from the DOT, and to send across the message that we are here to help the industry arise and recover,” she said.
She said she would begin a tour of the regional offices of the DOT nationwide within the week.
“The objective being to be front and center of the prevailing issues that need to be addressed, and to craft solutions that will ensure the full rehabilitation and recovery of the tourism industry,” she said.