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Clark, Pampanga–In time for the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) 51st founding anniversary, 51 tour guides from the provinces of Pampanga, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, and Tarlac collectively received over P2.55M worth of free personal accident insurance coverage as tokens of appreciation personally funded by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco on Saturday (May 11) at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. The frontliners also received DOT tour guiding kits containing electronic lapels, hats, sunblock, sunglasses, tumblers, and other tour guiding essentials.

The recipients were tour guides from the Porac Tour Guides Association, Guides Alliance Bulacan at Your Service (GABAY), Bataan Peninsula Tour Guides Association, Eco Tour Guides Association of San Luis Aurora, City of San Fernando, Pampanga Tour Guides, Accredited Guides Association of Pampanga, Bulacan Tour Guides, and Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan Tour Guides.

This, as DOT recognizes the indispensable role of local community guides in the tourism industry, being considered as frontliners in championing the country’s local destinations and upholding the rich Filipino culture, heritage, and history, especially now that the Department is aiming to improve Clark as an alternate gateway for tourist markets to and from the Philippines.

“Batid ko po na sa linya ng ating trabaho, may mga aksidente o di inaasahang pangyayari. Pero in my research of the government programs that we have at present (in the DOT) and our budget as well, it does not allow accident insurance coverage para sa ating mga frontliners. Kaya po as a personal and humble gift to all of you, meron po tayong handog na libreng accident insurance para sa ating mga frontliners,” she said while addressing tour guides based in Central Luzon.

“Napaka importante po ng tungkulin ninyong lahat dito sa Pilipinas. Napakahirap ng inyong ginagawa pero mahal na mahal talaga ninyo ang turismo ng Pilipinas. So, consider this as a humble token of gratitude para naman po yung trabaho ninyo everyday can be further enhanced, and that you can continue to tell the Filipino story with love,” she added.

Early this year, Clark International Airport (CRK) won the Routes Asia Marketing Awards 2024 under the 5 million Passenger airport category after it handled nearly two million passengers in 2023, or a 160 percent increase from the previous year.

Bannering the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence at MICE Conference 2024 in Clark

Secretary Frasco is in Clark to witness the formal signing of agreements with eight sectoral partners to incorporate the world-renowned Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) in the operations of the hospitality industry and become a holistic brand for the Philippines. This is to prepare Central Luzon’s industrial and business district for hosting the anticipated MICE Conference on July 10 to 12 this year.

MICECON is the largest gathering of meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions professionals in the country, and has become a sought-after event as it strengthens all sectors involved in the MICE industry into one cohesive and comprehensive educational program. Thousands of delegates are expected to attend the event, thus, the move to equip tourism frontliners with the necessary know-how to welcome and handle guests.

The agreement also institutionalized the DOT’s partnership with Clark stakeholders.

Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Luzon International Premiere Airport Development (LIPAD) Corporation, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Clark, Philippine National Police (PNP)-Aviation Security Unit III, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 3, Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-Region 3, Commission on Higher Education-Region 3, and the Department of Education (DepEd)-Region 3 have individually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DOT to further pursue the Department’s goal to train more tourism frontliners.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for joining us today at this most significant occasion that is also timely because it is the 51st founding anniversary of the Department of Tourism. To be honest, I really could have just spent my day at our Central Office to mark the anniversary of the DOT but I chose to be here if only to deliver personally my utmost gratitude, ang aking pasasalamat sa inyong lahat for championing Philippine tourism and pushing forward to the consciousness of the global community the good work that our tourism frontliners are doing through the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence Program,” the Secretary said in her speech before stakeholders and partners in Clark.

To recall, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco set an ambitious goal in 2023 to train 100,000 tourism workers. The DOT, through the Office of Industry Manpower Development (OIMD), managed to surpass the goal by training over 127,000 workers so the mission is continuously carried out for 2024 as the Department’s regional training champions aim to hit the bigger goal of 150,000 workers trained this year.

The program is designed to train stakeholders from tourism enterprises to academic institutions and community-based organizations.

The ceremonial signing of the MOUs was led by Secretary Frasco, DOT Central Luzon Regional Director Richard Daenos, with industry partners CDC President Atty. Agnes Devanadera, LIPAD President and CEO Noel Manankil, CRK Vice President Nancy Paglinawan, BOC – Port of Clark District Collector Erastus Sandino Austria, CHED Regional Director Lora Landayan Yusi, DILG Regional Director Anthony Nuyda, and Chief of PNP – Aviation Security Clark Col. Gary Reyes.

As of May 10, 2024, the DOT Central Luzon has around 5,500 tourism frontliners, with 2,152 from the accommodation sector; 1,506 from the academe, and 1,204 from the local government units.




Honoring the Tourism Frontliners on the occasion of the 51st founding anniversary of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco was in Clark, Pampanga on May 11 to witness the Ceremonial Signing of Commitment to the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence among tour guides, stakeholders and government officials and to distribute a token of gratitude comprising of tour guide kits as well as free accident insurance to local tour guides of the region.

Published:May 12, 2024

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