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PIA Press Release

LGUs to come up with local tourism dev't plan

RA 9593 to push RP's tourism sector be globally competitive

Cebu City (8 October) -- Every local government unit is required to come up with a local tourism development plan once the National Tourism Act (NTA) or RA 9593 is implemented promoting a culture of tourism and boosting the country's tourism industry in its entirety.

Tourism Usec. Phineas Alburo in this morning's PIA Kapihan that tackled the salient points of the NTA bared that under the law, the Department of Tourism (DOT) will be the primary planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and regulatory government agency in the development of the country's tourism industry to make it more globally competitive

Alburo however, said that though the new law identifies the DOT as the lead agency in the national tourism development plan and empowers the tourism department to have more supervisory powers and strengthen its attached agencies, coming up with the national tourism development plan will always be in partnership with the private sector and other tourism stakeholders.

Local government units also play a very important role in the implementation of the national tourism development plan which sets the tone for the crafting of their local tourism development agenda, Alburo said.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law RA 9593 last May 12 in Cebu where it declares it a national policy for tourism to be one of the country's engines of investment, employment, growth and national development.

Apart from requiring LGUs to come up with a local tourism development plan, they are also mandated to hire a permanent position for tourism officer in their respective areas, according to Alburo.

Unlike before, the position of a development officer is not a permanent one and merely depends on the LGU, this is learned.

In Cebu, there are only about 24 to 25 tourism officers out of all 47 municipalities and seven cities, this is said.

But this will change while these are just some of the provisions of the law where the LGUs are involved as the government recognizes the great potential of tourism to be a key economic driver for national development, Alburo

"Before, tourism was not given that much of a priority but with this law, tourism will now be a driving factor in pushing the country to economic progress," Alburo stressed adding that he waited for 36 years for a law like this to be passed.

The tourism undersecretary disclosed the second draft of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 9593 is done as area consultations begin tomorrow starting in Luzon and on October 14 will be the Visayas consultation and the next day in Mindanao.

About 80 participants coming from tourism-related sectors and other various stakeholders are invited to the Visayas Consultation on the IRR of RA 9593 that is slated to be in Cebu.

"There is much participation from the private sector and definitely, as we present to them the IRR of the law, we will note down their inputs so this will be a law that considers all the sentiments of all the tourism stakeholders," Alburo claimed. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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