DOT pushes P50-B infra projects
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Tourism (DOT) has identified over P50 billion worth of tourism-related infrastructure projects under the country’s Tourism Master Plan, the top DOT official said.
On the sidelines of the Philippine Economic Briefing yesterday, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said the DOT, together with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), has already identified more than 100 tourism roads under the TMP.
If these projects push through, he said it would translate to visitor receipts worth about $10.77 billion in 2016.
Aside from tourism road projects, the TMP seeks to develop and market competitive tourist products and destinations.
Included in the product portfolio being developed under the TMP are nature tourism; cultural tourism; sun and beach tourism; leisure and entertainment tourism; events tourism; health, wellness and retirement tourism; cruise and nautical tourism; diving & marine sports tourism; and education tourism.
To accomplish the goals under the TMP, Jimenez said the DOT it would implement strategies such as aggressive market penetration; quality improvement and product development schemes and promotion.
The DOT, he said, would also implement programs such as Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), Hotel and Resort Quality Assurance and Accreditation System and Tourism Skills Development Program.
It would also carry out the training of 5,000 tourism workers and certify 500 tourism professionals.
The DOT is also studying ways to reduce business cost and improve compliance.
Last year, the DOT forged an agreement with DPWH to boost tourism infrastructure project in priority tourists destination areas in the Philippines under the Convergence Program for Enhancing Tourism Access.
The agreement calls for, among others, the development of Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP) criteria led by DOT, and identifies convergence champions to provide policy guidelines and supervision in formulating the TRIP.
“Before there is no specific budget for tourism roads. Now, we have adequate budget, Jimenez said, noting that all projects to be funded are included in the country’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP).
NTDP aims to provide a strategic framework and outline an action plan to guide the DOT and other stakeholders in the development of the tourism sector between 2011 and 2016.
Most of the areas that have been identified this year include Cordillera, Palawan and other places in the Visayas like Cebu and Bohol.