Lapu-Lapu to help pumpboat operators earn big in tourism

THE Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Office plans to conduct a “Laag Laag sa Lapu-Lapu,” a project that will generate income for the pumpboat operators in the area.

Lapu-Lapu City tourism officer Edward Mendez said they will organize the pumpboat operators in the city to give a better experience for tourists.

“We will incentivize this by organizing the pumpboat operators, identifying priority pumpboats and engaging tourists in island hopping activities using these pumpboats,” he said.

The tourism council has yet to identify the possible areas to include in the “Laag Laag sa Lapu-Lapu.”

Mendez said they will prioritize the pumpboat units that have secured accreditation with the local government unit as well as with the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7.

In Central Visayas, there are an estimated 2,000 pumpboats that ferry tourists around the scenic islands of the region.

The DOT 7 had initially accredited 70 island hopping pumpboats in Mactan, the agency’s pilot area for the program.

This measure is in line with the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009, mandating all modes of tourist transport like vans on land and pumpboats in the water to secure accreditation from the DOT.

Operators will have to pay P1,500 to be accredited by the DOT. They must have the proper safety equipment like life jackets, among others.

Mendez also said they are working on a maritime brochure that will introduce a more organized way of conducting island hopping activities.

The brochure will also feature the different islands near Lapu-Lapu City and the accredited pumpboats manned by trained operators.

Under the law, the DOT shall be the primary planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and regulatory government agency in the development and promotion of the tourism industry, both domestic and international. (JOB)