DOT starts rehab of tourism sites in Cebu, Bohol-A A +A
Friday, October 18, 2013
THE Department Tourism (DOT) on Friday said the agency has already begun moves for the swift recovery and rehabilitation of key tourism infrastructure after a magnitude 7.2 killer quake devastated Cebu and Bohol.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said they already started finding ways to speed up recovery of the affected areas, especially that tourism is a major industry that fuels economies of the said provinces.
He also noted that most hotels, resorts and other business establishments have resumed their operations and business as usual is being observed in Cebu and Panglao Island in Bohol based on the latest report by DOT office in Central Visayas.
"It's back to work for the tourism industry because now more than ever, Bohol and Cebu need their tourism income to move forward from this unfortunate tragedy," Jimenez said.
But the DOT chief mentioned that there are some tours still being carried out in areas severely affected by the earthquake, which remain off-limits to the public as of the moment.
Among those still prohibited to the public are historical churches and sites including the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino and Fort San Pedro in Cebu City, and the Baclayon Church and Dauis Church in Bohol.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) were also conducting their own assessments of these heritage structures.
Jimenez noted that the Tourism Crisis Management Committee led by Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz will hold consultation meetings with heads of industry to come up with a contingency plan to regain market confidence and a plan to offer alternative tour programs within in the two quake-hit provinces.
“While it will take time to restore the heritage sites, reconstruction of damaged facilities in other attractions and transportation infrastructure should proceed with haste. Our Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) will help rehabilitate the view deck of the Chocolate Hills and other amenities," Jimenez explained
He also added that the convergence program of the DOT and the Department of Public Works and Highways will need to include reparation of roads and bridges. (Sunnex)