By Analou De Vera
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she will prioritize on improving tourism policies and infrastructures, as the Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed her appointment as the head of the Department of Tourism on Tuesday.
“We will prioritize improving policies on access, connectivity, and security as well as enhance programs on tourism infrastructure,” said Puyat in her introductory statement before the CA panel.
Puyat also said that her department will continue regular consultations with various industry groups such as the Tourism Congress of the Philippines as well as the Legislative and Executive branches.
“We will renew our leadership position in global tourism organizations and communities and restart our global advertising and promotions efforts,” she said.
Puyat said that they will “faithfully pursue the mandate of RA (Republic Act) 9593 or Tourism Act of 2009” which she said is a national policy for the tourism “as an engine for investments, employment, growth, and national development.”
Furthermore, Puyat stated that the will review the implementation of the ‘National Tourism Development Plan 2016-2022,’ which “serves as the roadmap in developing tourism participated in by all regions in the Philippines.”
The DOT will also continue to work with the Boracay Task Force, business sector, and local communities in order to transform the world-famous island “into a champion of sustainable and responsible tourism,” Puyat said.
Puyat also said she will use her experience as an economist, educator, and a government executive, to be able to perform her duty as the new tourism head.
“My advocacy on food, farmers, and farming will play a major part in my full entry into tourism,” she said.
“We will pursue the rollout of RA 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016… that will ultimately preserve our farms, increase revenue streams to the countryside, create new markets, and increase arrivals,” said Puyat.
Puyat said that it was “humbling as it was heartwarming having been entrusted with huge responsibility” as the Tourism head.
She said that her role as a Tourism Secretary is “great” as it leads a “vibrant Industry that promotes the image of the country and supports economic growth.”
Puyat said that tourism is a priority sector that is expected to reduce poverty incidence as well as inequality.
“It is a sector that will bind us as a nation proud, protective, and in love with our natural attractions, heritage, and culture,” she said.
Puyat said that her department’s tasks are plenty but “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.”