Central Philippines governors help promote the super-region
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu City (22 October) -- The 25 governors of the Central Philippines super-region agreed to contribute P150,000 each to promote the region.
Governor Luis Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said, this was among the many issues that were discussed during the two-day Central Philippines Governors’ Forum in Cebu recently. It was conducted in collaboration with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
“We agreed to the contribution for the production of brochure and other IEC materials that would promote the region, and we also plan to put up a website and booth in airports,” Villafuerte added.
Tourism secretary Ace Durano was happy with the proposals because he said, it will translate Central Philippines into packages that can sell.
Durano told the governors that most airports upgrading in the supra regions are in the Central Philippines under the MTPIP and seven out of 10 most visited beaches in the country are found in Central Philippines where 58% of tourists arrive generating about P82-billion in tourism revenues in 2005.
The DOT secretary added that by 2010, the Central Philippines region shall have completed 14 functioning airports that will also include the international airports in Puerto Princesa, Panglao, Tacloban, Caraga, Albay and Mactan.
GTZ tourism consultant, Dietmar Quist conducted a study on Philippine tourism and said that the country ranked 44th in worldwide tourism that translated into 1.25 million jobs in the country while tourism-related industries generated more than 3.36 million jobs.
The President, in her statement made during the dinner reception she hosted in Malacañang for the delegates attending the Supreme Court-sponsored "Global Forum on Liberty and Prosperity" at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel from Oct. 18-21 said, the government is currently addressing many challenges to create a new Philippines with a strong economy, millions of new jobs, better education, improved access to health care, and lasting peace and order.
She said Phase 1 of the country’s economic turnaround plan was to stabilize the budget and spending, secure increased revenues through better tax and customs collections, as well as expanding the VAT and other taxes "to lessen our foreign borrowings that eat up much of the budget due to interest payments," while Phase 2, the President said, is to take advantage of the improved revenues for the long-overdue investments in infrastructure, education, health care and other priorities. She said restructuring the economy would also bolster the natural advantages of the newly created five super regions that would open various opportunities across the country. (PIA-Cebu) [top]