Media Release: OPENING STATEMENT OF SECRETARY BERNADETTE ROMULO- PUYAT AT THE COMMISION ON APPOINTMENTS
29 May 2018
OPENING STATEMENT OF SECRETARY BERNADETTE ROMULO- PUYAT
Honorable Chairperson and members of the Committee on Tourism and Economic Development, distinguished ladies and gentlemen - - Good morning!
Last May 14, I took my oath before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as Secretary-designate of the Department of Tourism. It was humbling as it was heartwarming having been entrusted with a huge responsibility. It is a great role to lead a vibrant industry that promotes the image of the country and supports economic growth.
The Duterte administration believes tourism is an important driver of the economy. It is expressed in our 10-point socio-economic agenda highlighting the promotion of rural tourism. Tourism is a priority sector expected to reduce poverty and inequality. And it is a sector that will bind us as a nation proud, protective, and in love with our natural attractions, heritage and culture.
For the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of meeting DOT associates, captains of industry, and government partners. It has not only enlightened but also emboldened us to hit the ground running and make tourism really count in nation building.
1. We will faithfully pursue the mandate of RA 9593 or Tourism Act of 2009 (bill sponsored by Hon. Senator Richard J. Gordon) that is a national policy for tourism as an engine for investments, employment, growth and national development.
2. We will review the implementation of the National Tourism Development Plan 2016-2022 that serves as the roadmap in developing tourism participated in by all regions in the Philippines.
3. We will prioritize improving policies on access, connectivity, and security as well as enhance programs on tourism infrastructure.
4. We will continue regular consultations with industry groups such as the Tourism Congress of the Philippines and partners in the Legislature and Executive branches of government.
5. We will renew our leadership position in global tourism organizations and communities and restart our global advertising and promotions efforts.
6. We will work with the Boracay Task Force, business sector, and local communities to transform Boracay Island into a champion of sustainable and responsible tourism.
7. And we will bring to the table, my experience as an Economist, Educator, and Government Executive.
My advocacy on food, farmers, and farming will play a major part in my full entry into tourism. We will pursue the roll out of RA 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016 (bill sponsored by Hon. Senator Cynthia A. Villar) that will ultimately preserve our farms, increase revenue streams to the countryside, create new markets, and increase arrivals.
Honorable Chairperson, members of the Committee, distinguished ladies and gentlemen – Our tasks ahead are plenty and we remain optimistic about your kind support to tourism.
Every challenge will be a chance to effect our contribution to the growth of tourism and of the Philippine economy. It will also define our love of country and of the Filipino people.
Maraming salamat at Mabuhay po kayong lahat!