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Sunday, August 10, 2014
TOURISM officers from seven local government units (LGUs) that were affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) will undergo a series of trainings and activities to improve their tourism competitiveness.
“We will have a MOA (memorandum of agreement) signing before the end of the month between three entities: Cebu Province, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government),” said Carmen Ulanday, Capitol consultant and the project’s focal person.
Dubbed the “local economic development initiatives for tourism industry recovery,” the program is being implemented with the cooperation of the Canadian government.
Some P5.3 million was allocated for Cebu, which will be managed by the DILG, through its Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development.
Beneficiaries are the towns of Bantayan, Madridejos, Sta Fe, San Remigio, Medellin, Daanbantayan and Bogo City.
Ulanday said capacity-building activities will start after the MOA signing.
The project rationale stressed activities, which are intended to recover the area’s place-based competitiveness.
These include strengthening the LGUs’ friendliness with tourism sector, tourism product enhancement for private sector, development of tourism work force, designing and marketing tourism packages, and tourism infrastructure development.
Ulanday said there will be proper coordination among towns so they will complement instead of compete with each other.
Meanwhile, Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez welcomed the program.
He said they were “groping in the dark” when they started the town’s tourism industry since they didn’t have any expert advice.
Yet, he said, Medellin landed as one of the top 10 tourist destinations in Central Visayas in 2013.
Last Aug. 8, Mayor Ricardo Ramirez received a check worth P250,000 as the first tranche of the P500,000 that the town got from the Department of Tourism (DOT) for bagging the Seal of Good Housekeeping.
He said the amount is earmarked for the rehabilitation of the town’s tourist spots.
The check from DOT, though, is not connected with the DILG-managed project, the mayor said.
“Whatever comes our way, it’s always a blessing,” Ramirez said.
Aside from Cebu, the other provinces that qualified in the economic development project for the tourism industry are Palawan, Aklan, Antique and Iloilo. (OCP)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 10, 2014.