THIS is the idea behind the proposed legislative measure filed by City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. seeking to convert the City Tourism Office and the Special Events Division of the Office for Administration into a regular department under the organizational structure of the City Government of Baguio.
In his explanation contained in the said proposed ordinance, Councilor Yangot observed that the City Tourism Office is undermanned to actively and effectively manage delegated activities and special events in the city that cater to visitors and residents alike and cannot cope with the current influx of local and foreign tourists that seek to enjoy the cooler climate of Baguio.
Furthermore, he noted that the continuous move to improve the state of special events in all major parks, monitoring of tourism-related and oriented establishments, overseeing of delegated recreational activities as well as the capable management of the Baguio Convention Center is too much for the said division to handle.
Councilor Yangot thus recommends that an expansion and conversion into a department of the said office is necessary in order for it to function more effectively and efficiently.
Under the proposed legislative measure, the City Tourism Division of the Office for Administration is to be converted into a regular department under the organizational structure of the City Government of Baguio and will have the following functions and responsibilities:
(a) Formulate policies, plans and programs and projects for the development of the local tourism industry; (b) Administer, coordinate and supervise all activities of the government concerning tourism; (c) Advise the Mayor and the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) on the promulgation of administrative issuances and measures relative to the policy, plans, programs and projects designed to promote and develop the local tourism industry; (d) Ensure the efficient, fair, courteous, expeditious and hospitable reception of all tourists and travellers;
(e) Represent the City Government in all such conferences and meetings concerning tourism and travel, and discharge such responsibilities of the government as it may arise agreements and other commitments on tourism and travel to which it is a party to; (f) Recommend and assist in the implementation of standards for tourism oriented and related establishments, including prescription of minimum levels of operating quality and efficiency in order to ensure that facilities, personnel and services area maintained in accordance with acceptable local and international norms;
(g) provide the protection, maintenance and preservation of historical, cultural and natural assets, which area tourist attractions, with the appropriate government agencies or with private sector or with the owners of said assets or attractions; (h) Undertake research studies and surveys for the continuing analysis of economic conditions and trends relating to tourism and maintain a statistical data bank on the tourism industry; (i) Design programs to encourage private-sector investment and participation in tourism activities and projects;
(j) Set-up and organize District Offices in Barangay for the purpose of overseeing all marketing, promotional and implementing programs of the office;(k) Enlist the aid, assistance and support of any and all government agencies in the implementation of the provisions of laws relative to the enhancement of tourism through the office of the Mayor;
(l) Ensure through proper coordination with appropriate government agencies and local private agencies the social growth of the community within a tourist zone, carefully control possible negative social impact brought about by tourism development; and (m) Exercise such powers and functions as may be delegated by the City Chief Executive and the City Council via an approved ordinance towards the end of furthering local tourism.
If approved the said proposed ordinance will establish an organizational structure for the created regular department to include the City Tourism Officer, a Supervising Tourism Operations Officer (STOO) and with the following divisions: (a) Planning, Product Development and Tourism Coordination; (b) Services and Standards Division; (c) Promotions, Marketing and Information Division; and (d) Administrative, Trainings and Internal Services Division.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on May 18, 2017.
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