DOT welcomes Frasco as new chief; promises smooth transition

·3 min read

TOURISM chief Bernadette Puyat has promised a smooth and orderly transition of tasks to the new incoming tourism secretary under the Marcos administration.

“The transition team of the Department of Tourism (DOT) is ready to welcome and brief the new Secretary and her team for a smooth turnover,” said Puyat in a statement Monday, May 30, 2022.

The DOT welcomed the impending appointment of Mayor Christina Frasco as its new Secretary with “high hopes that the momentum that we have generated the past few months toward the revival, recovery, and resiliency of the tourism industry will be carried over to the new administration.”

Among those that will be turned over National Tourism Development Plan 2022 to 2028 and the reformulated Tourism Response and Recovery Plan which served as the DOT’s road map to the tourism sector’s full recovery from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DOT said the next administration is assured that the DOT has been operating in utmost accountability and transparency, receiving an “unqualified opinion” from the Commission on Audit, the highest rating that indicates that all of our financial statements are reported fairly and correctly, for two straight years.

“I will bow out of the department secure in the knowledge that the industry is back on its feet: borders have reopened and the livelihood of those dependent on tourism have gradually been restored,” said Puyat.

“The new tourism chief can bank on the remarkable gains of the Duterte Administration that has piloted sustainable and regenerative tourism practices, not only on Boracay Island, but also in many tourist destinations across the country,” she added.

Good track record

Meanwhile, business leaders of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) are likewise elated of Frasco’s appointment saying that her knowledge and good track record as Liloan Mayor would be of great help in the DOT.

“We look forward to her being the DOT Secretary. She has what it takes to do well in the position. And Cebu being the tourism capital and gateway of the Philippines, it is beneficial for the whole country that the DOT Secretary is from Cebu,” said MCCI president Kelie Ko.

MCCI’s immediate past president Steven Yu said Franco’s appointment is fitting for the tourism industry especially since most of the country’s popular destinations are in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We are very excited and very pleased with the appointment of Mayor Christina Garcia Frasco as the incoming DOT Secretary. No other LGU has been more responsive and more innovative in promoting tourism than Cebu especially during the pandemic. Without a doubt, she has the best qualifications to excel in that position. She will bring wonders to the industry, and help in the recovery of our economy from the damaging effects of the pandemic,” Yu said.

Yu added that Frasco can build on what the Cebu Province and the highly urbanized cities have started and sell Cebu better to the world.

Easier point of entry requirements for international travelers; an international convention center that can host big-ticket meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions center; and subsidies and access to finance for tourism-related businesses hit by twin effects of the pandemic and Typhoon Odette destruction are some of the proposed priorities the chamber wants Frasco to address during her stint.

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