Kalinga opens coordinating center in Baguio City
by Peter A. Balocnit
TABUK, Kalinga (16 October) -- Tourist arrivals in the province is expected to increase with the opening this month of the Kalinga Coordinating Center in Baguio City to serve as coordinating office cum tourism center.
Governor Dominador Belac Sr. issued Executive Order (EO) No. 23 creating the Kalinga Coordinating Center (KCC) at Otek St. in the City of Baguio to serve as center point on matters concerning information services between regional offices and the provincial government. This will also caters to the needs of tourists making Kalinga their second jump off point with the peace and order in the province now stable.
According to Board Member Antonio Bakilan Sr. who authored a resolution leading to the issuance of the EO, the center will establish an information bank and web site to provide on line data about the province including its tourism profile and sites. The information needs of tourists wanting to visit the province will be available at the center. It provides them guide on places of interest, he said.
The KCC also serve as meeting place for students and professionals for convening other concerns urgent in nature affecting their interest and welfare, the EO provides.
Aside from being the coordinating office, it will be the center for the formulation of plans and programs concerning the basic needs of the Kalingas residing and working in Baguio and Benguet; point for the monitoring the status of Kalinga students, workers and professionals; and an assistance center.
A liaison officer to be designated by the Governor will be assigned to man the center, and shall prepare and submit periodic reports on the activities of the office. The assigned staff is authorized to coordinate with regional offices and other CAR LGUs on matters concerning the programs of KCC and act as the overall coordinator for students enrolled in the different colleges and universities; professionals and workers working in Baguio and Benguet.
The tourism industry in the country is bullish as shown by the National Statistics Office survey that aside from foreign tourists, seven million Filipinos in the country travel for leisure.
Meanwhile, to reach its target of five million foreign tourists by 2010, Tourism Secretary Joseph Durano said that his department would promote the country in Germany, Australia, and Russia next year. This would complement the seasonality of the top three markets now- Japan, Korea, and China.
Durano said 89 percent of his department's P1.3 billion would go to promotion, P739 million and P200 million would go to international and domestic promotion respectively. In 2004, the tourism target was surpassed by 20 percent and in 2005, by 14.5 percent (2.63 million tourists), he said adding the 2007 target is 3.5 million tourists. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]