Meet Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco’s team

·2 min read

TOURISM Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco has formed the team that will help her in her goal of revitalizing tourism to propel the Philippines’ post-pandemic economic growth.

Leading the team is former Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu City president Mae Elaine Bathan, who has been appointed Department of Tourism (DOT) undersecretary and chief of staff.

Bathan said her item is undersecretary for legal and special concerns, while her designation is chief of staff.

She said her duties will be with regard to how the office is run.

“Corollary to that, as chief of staff, I’ll be an alter ego of the secretary on matters regarding the department. I represent her,” Bathan told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Asked if that meant she would be Frasco’s spokesman, Bathan said the secretary had not designated any spokesman and so requests for interviews and comments should still go directly to the secretary.

Right now, the department has four undersecretaries, Bathan said.

Besides her, Bathan said, the other undersecretaries are former Liloan councilor Ferdinand “Kokoy” Jumapao, lawyer Shereen Gail Pamintuan and Shahlimar Tamano, who most recently served as DOT Central Visayas director.

Pamintuan previously served as executive director of the League of Cities of the Philippines.

Tamano was appointed undersecretary for regional affairs of the DOT Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation, according to the DOT-National Capital Region, which congratulated him on his appointment on its Facebook page last Monday, July 25, 2022.

Bathan said the undersecretaries would also serve as alternate delegates to attached agencies and government-owned and -controlled corporations of which the DOT is a member, such as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, if the secretary herself could not be present.

Also part of Frasco’s team at the DOT is Frasco’s former aide in Liloan, Alven Talisic, who is now head executive assistant, Bathan said.

SunStar reported earlier that the secretary’s team also includes Ronald Conopio, who was named director of the department.

Conopio told SunStar Cebu Thursday, July 28, 2022, that he is head of the Protocol and Engagements Unit of the Office of the Secretary.

Prior to his appointment at the DOT, Conopio worked with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, mother of Frasco, for 15 years in various roles including during her time as congresswoman. He later became consultant for her congressmen brother, Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, third district), and son-in-law, Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco (Cebu, fifth district) from 2019.

Secretary Frasco gave up the post of Liloan, Cebu mayor when President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed her to lead the tourism department.

Tourism came to a halt when the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic was declared in March 2020.

The Philippines reopened its doors to foreign tourists only on February 10, 2022.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting