Kalinga TOPCOPs train on Mabuhay Hosting
by Gigi Dumallig
TABUK, Kalinga (23 October) -- Gearing towards developing a competitive tourism workforce, the Provincial Government of Kalinga through the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) sponsored a two-day seminar on Mabuhay Hosting for 41 policemen from the different municipalities of the province.
Department of Tourism (DOT) – CAR Regional Director Purificacion Molintas said that this project called the Tourist Orientated Police Community Oriented Police (TOPCOP) is a component of the government’s tourism strategies to project a better image for the country.
“The role of policemen as partners of tourism is not limited on providing security alone, but they must also learn how to deal and relate with tourists,” she said explaining that this is what the training aimed to attain.
“We need to establish the TOPCOP in Kalinga to change the negative image projected by bad publicity, which is usually the complaint of local government officials,” she said adding that this strategy will also enhance the general peace and order situation of the province’s tourist destinations. More tourists are likely to visit a safe and secure place.
In consideration to the established tourist destinations in the province, Molintas said that for this training, they have invited the PNP from the five municipalities along the Chico river for the white river rafting activity and from Balbalan who will be providing security for tourists visiting the Balbalasang National Park, which she said has a big potential in eco-tourism.
The participants were given pointers on how to make visitors feel welcome as well as helpful hints on how to make good impressions, proper ways of communication, protocols, handling customers and the value of tourism.
Molintas also underscored the four factors vital in attracting more investors and tourists in the country. These she said are contained in the acronym ACCESS.
The letter A, stands for accessibility in terms of communication, land air and sea. “Travel time is vital for tourists, so we have to make the tourist destination accessible to them to keep their travel time short,” she pointed out.
Tourists should also be assured of their Comfort and Convenience during their stay. Good accommodation she said makes them come back or even bring or recommend their friends to try the same.
Tourists are also attracted with Events and entertainment, which could be the tourist attraction itself. The two Ss stand for the Safety and Security of tourists and this she said is where the police play a vital role.
The TOPCOP project is covered with a memorandum of Agreement entered into by the DOT, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and PNP.
The Police Regional Office-Cordillera launched its TOPCOP project last December 12, 2005, at Loakan, Baguio City. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]