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PIA Press Release

Sec. Durano to set aside political plans; focus on RP's tourism development

by Robert E. Roperos

Gen. Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte (21 October) -- Following the issue of whether of not he will run for a higher position come May 2010 national elections, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said that developing the country's tourism industry is his priority and that, he is setting aside any political plans.

This was revealed by Sec. Durano during the press conference held today, Wednesday (October 21) at Cabuntog Resort here.

According to Durano, with the need of the country to strengthen the tourism industry, it is but necessary for him and the country's tourism department to fast-track the implementation of its plans and programs.

"There is a need for me and the Department of Tourism to fast-track the implementation of the plans and programs to boost the tourism industry of the country. That'swhy, as of this time, I am setting aside any political plans for next year's election… I am focusing on how to strengthen the tourism industry of the Philippines for which, I am tasked to do so," he said.

Durano also said, the tourism department is working closely in order for the newly-created "National Tourism Policy Act of 2009" be implemented next month.

The tourism chief was here in the municipality dubbed as the country's surfing capital to grace the opening ceremonies of the 15th Siargao International Surfing Competition dubbed as "Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational" held this morning at Brgy. Catangnan, Gen. Luna, Siargao Island.

This year's competition draw more number of surfers/tube riders from around the globe as the event organizers, headed by Billabong Australia is giving away US $20,000 to the champion. It was learned that 48 local and foreign tube riders are vying for the prize.

The 15th Siargao International Surfing Competition is made possible through the Province of Surigao del Norte, DOT, Municipality of Gen. Luna, SM Mall of Asia – Manila, STOKED Inc., San Miguel Corporation, Green Zinc, Vonzipper, Kustom, and Nixon, among others.

The competition will run until Tuesday, October 27, 2009 where a new champion will be declared during the awarding ceremony. (PIA-13) [top]

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