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PBBM trusts Frasco, Tourism Chief gets widespread support

MANILA, Philippines—Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco will continue leading the agency’s initiatives in the resurgence of Philippine tourism post-pandemic.

This, as President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. himself said Friday (7 July) that the tourism chief still has his trust and confidence.

“Yes, absolutely,” the President said when asked if Secretary Frasco still has his trust and confidence.

“No question. I spoke to her. I have been actually in touch with her since all of these came to the fore at nakita ko naman mabilis ang galaw niya. She terminated the contracts that were in question. She has also, since then, put under review all of the other contracts that were in the pipeline. Kaya’t sa aking palagay, she has it under control, she knows what to do, and what she has done so far inspires confidence that she will fix the problem and that the campaign of ‘Love the Philippines’ will be as successful as we hope for it to be,” the President added when asked by the media.

More tourism stakeholders express support

Apart from lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives as well as past tourism chiefs, more tourism stakeholders have also shown their support for Secretary Frasco, noting that they are confident in Frasco and DOT’s ability to further the tourism achievements of the country post-pandemic.

“I have your back covered because we know that you are doing the right thing. We, at TCP support the moves that you’ve been making and we love that now we have Love the Philippines,” Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) President Bob Zozobrado said.

The Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) also reiterated its support for the DOT and Secretary Frasco. The association has 500 strong-members across the country.

“On behalf of the Philippine Tour Operators Association or PHILTOA, from the very beginning, we supported Love the Philippines because love encompasses everything. Not only love for the country, but love for the people, love for the food, love for the love for everything. So, kami from the association, we embraced, we accepted it by heart and in fact, we started promoting it already,” said PHILTOA President Fe Abling-Yu.

“To Secretary Christina Frasco, and to the entire DOT family and its attached agencies, we fully support and we will always be behind whatever direction, whatever challenges the DOT will encounter in these times,” she added.

National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS) President Raquel Sabudico also relayed the group’s support to the DOT, saying that the focus now should be on the further promotion of the Philippines as a destination.

“For me, the best thing is to concentrate on how we can help the Department of Tourism promote the Philippines because there’s a lot of the beauty of the Philippines that can be more emphasized rather than seeing the negative ones,” she said.

NAITAS has 17 chapters across the different regions of the country.

The Cebu-based tourism officers and stakeholders from various groups also signed a manifesto of support for Secretary Frasco.

“We, the tourism officers and various tourism stakeholders of the Once Cebu Island, issue with one and unified voice, our steadfast and resolute statement of support for Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco,” it said.

“Amidst all the hullabaloo, it is easy to lose sight of Secretary Frasco’s noble and original intention: to showcase the Filipinos’ love for the Philippines as an experience any visitor to this Pearl of the Orient Seas would not forget anytime soon. Instead of spreading the vitriol and feeding on the vicious cycle of hate, this whole DOT situation highlights all the more the shrewdness of the decision to love,” it added.

Support from the diplomatic community, private sector

In a statement, Consul General Hideki Yamaji of the Consulate of Japan in Cebu said that he believes that the Love The Philippines campaign has a huge potential in attracting more Japanese to visit the country.

“Japan has been a key market with a significant interest in exploring international destinations: and the campaign can serve as a catalyst to tap further into the Japanese market and elevate the Philippines as a preferred destination for the Japanese,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Visayas (OPAV) along with Governors from the Visayas region declared their “full and unwavering support to the rebranding of Philippine tourism campaign”.

“It is our firm belief that the DOT, under the leadership of Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, poses no other interest other than bolster the tourism framework of the country despite the setbacks and adjustments that we, as a nation, had to unfortunately encounter during the pandemic. We are confident that as soon as this matter fades into insignificance, the superior intentions of the good Secretary and her commitment to developing and promoting the Philippines to the world will prevail”, said the statement signed by Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Ben Evardone, also the Governor of Eastern Samar.

Multi-industry, multi-sectoral support

The Central Visayas Region comprised of business communities from Mandaue, Cebu; Negros Oriental; Siquijor; Panglao; and Bohol also released a joint manifesto in support of the DOT and the tourism chief.

Signatories included representatives of an expansive range of stakeholders from the Central Visayas business community and established business membership organizations. Mentioned in the manifesto were the following: the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Regional Governor for Central Visayas, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Cebu Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CFCCC), Mandaue Filipino Chamber of Commerce (MFCCC), Subdivision and Housing Developers Association-Central Visayas, Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter, Cebu Contractors Association, the Hotel Resort and Restaurants Association of Cebu Inc. Also cited were the other Business Membership Association in Central Visayas, Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI), Siquijor Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), and PCCI- Panglao Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In a separate manifesto, the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) stated that: “We trust that she and her team will be able to chart the direction of the country’s tourism industry which is a vital sector in our nation’s economy. It generates revenues for the country and provides employment to our people,” citing that they are standing behind the Secretary in her efforts to rectify and hold accountable those who are responsible for the misstep.

Meanwhile, The Cebu Mandaue Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries also said in a statement the Secretary will continue to have their trust as a partner.

“The Cebu Mandaue Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Inc. continues to have full confidence in DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco’s ability to lead the Department of Tourism. She has a proven track record of success, and she is committed to promoting the Philippines as a premier tourist destination,” it said.


Published:July 8, 2023

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