PGMA cites tourism as catalyst for economic development
Busuanga, Palawan (18 November) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cited the tourism sector as the single industry that has spurred so much economic development and has provided jobs and livelihood opportunities for countless Filipinos.
In her speech keynoting the inauguration of the newly rehabilitated Busuanga Airport here, the President noted that big-ticket investors have taken notice of the huge potential of the country's tourist spots and have started investing accordingly.
She said well-known hoteliers and restaurateurs Station One of Boracay Island and Banyan Tree from Phuket, Thailand have began building their respective resorts in Palawan, particularly in the Calamian Group of Islands and in Busuanga.
"Kaya kasama sa mga importanteng pamumuhunan na naglilikha ng maraming trabaho ang turismo," the President said, adding, "Nararapat na pambansang prioridad ang turismo dahil sa epekto nito sa panglipunang kaunlaran."
She extolled tourism as a "Big Tent Industry" that provides jobs and livelihood opportunities to both skilled and unskilled labor.
"Maglilikha ito ng trabaho saan man may potential ang turismo di lamang sa siyudad, at bawat dayuhang bisita ay lumilikha ng isang trabaho," the President said.
"At dahil personal ang serbisyo, hindi napapalitan ng makina ang tao kaya makakabigay ng katiyakan sa trabaho. Yun ang kabutihan ng turismo," she added.
The President pointed out that her administration had been aware of the enormous potential of the Philippines' tourism industry. During her first-ever State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2001, she vowed that her government will give more attention to this industry.
Later in her 2006 SONA, she included the construction and upgrade of numerous roads, ports and airports to spur further growth of the tourism industry, particularly in the Central Visayas.
"Malaki ang lamang natin sa mga magagandang natural na tanawin sa ating bansa at sa likas na kabaitan ng ating taong bayan," the President said.
"Sinabi natin, gagawin natin ang mga kalsada at mga facilidad upang makaabot ang mga turista sa mga magagandang tanawin at yan ang ipinagdidiwang natin ngayon," she added. (PIA-MMIO) [top]