Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tourism in the Philippines

Central Visayas' unique natural wonders and cultural heritage complemented by the extraordinary hospitality and warmth of their people make its potential as a world class tourist destination strong.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA) has to admit this, during possibly her last official visit to the tourism super region comprised mostly of five regions in Central Philippines.

PGMA came here last week to speak before tourism and hospitality management courses to bare the government's infrastructure support investments in the Central Philippines, the one region packaged for tourism.

The tourism super regions, as the country's official tourism packaged destination comprises of Region IV-A, V, VI, VII and VII including Camiguin and Siargao island, she explained.

The region includes Boracay, Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan, or the typical areas where ideal vacations are usually spent, the executive clarified.

Eyeing the unique potential of the region in its showings in the global tourism market statistics, the government heavily invested on the brisk tourism arrivals in the country despite seen decline in almost all regions, according to the president.

In her speech, PGMA said the administration has strongly invested in tourism infrastructure in the region since 2001.

This as her engagement's backdrop mapped the tangible projects implemented under her administration: 42 airports built or upgraded in the region: 108 ports including roll-on roll-ff accesses, 145 municipal fish ports and almost 9,000 kilometers of tourism highways, she narrated duing her 26 minutes speech. 

She also thanked the private sector investments in tourism facilities in Central Philippines for complementing the government efforts. 
PGMA said tourism investments reached P271.45 billion since 2004 with about 20 projects, mostly resorts and hotels, were registered with the BOI, costing P6.6 billion.

The President personally mentioned institutions like Holy Name University for their efforts to strengthen tourism by putting up related courses for young stakeholders.

She said the institution has helped young people be assured of jobs as soon as they finish school.

Over all these, she resounded the call for all Boholanos to help preserve the culture and the environment of Bohol, two of the greatest hinges in the region's potentials for tourism. - (PIA) 

Bohol Politician Framed Up?

A string report run by a national daily paper could put any one of the 28 Boholano candidates for Board members (BM) at ill ease: one among them is under probe for alleged links to illegal drug trade.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, in reports has bared one Boholano BM candidate as among the six candidates in Western Visayas and two in Central Visayas with alleged links with drug personalities.

The report cited the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) confirming that six candidates in Western Visayas eye various posts in government while two more candidates in Central Visayas running for public posts have links with drug personalities and groups.

PDEA Central Visayas regional director Randy Pedroso also revealed that two local candidates, one in Cebu and another in Bohol, were also being investigated for their alleged links to the illegal drug trade, the same report said.

He however admitted that the government agents are still heaping up evidence to support a case, should one be filed against any one.

Pedroso said that the Cebuano under investigation is a candidate for councilor in Cebu City.

Meanwhile, the un-named candidate for board member in Bohol is similarly under the narcotics agent's scopes.

Both candidates accordingly have a history of arrests due to their involvement in illegal drugs.

PDEA did not also identify if the alleged personalities were men or women.

Over these reports, about twenty three male candidates and women candidates in Bohol's three districts may be into an uncomfortable position.
The drug trade has become lucrative that drug dealers have shifted to narco-politics to protect their interests.
The US State Department has also said drug money may affect the upcoming Philippine elections in May 2010.