Puerto Princesa City pushes for ‘trav­eler's bill of rights'

Palawan News - - FRONT PAGE - By Ger­ardo Reyes Re­porter

The Puerto Princesa City Coun­cil has re­quested Rep. Gil Acosta ( 3rd dis­trict) to study and file a “Trav­eler’s Bill of Rights” to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of do­mes­tic and for­eign tourists.

Coun­cilor Ne­sario Awat in a res­o­lu­tion said Acosta can spon­sor a bill in the Lower House that will pro­tect the ba­sic rights of the trav­el­ers who come to Puerto Princesa.

“Ang Puerto Princesa ay tourism des­ti­na­tion. Da­pat masig­uro natin ang ex­cel­lent ser­vices ng at­ing mga ho­tels, trans­porta­tions, at iba pa. Sa gan­ito ring paraan ay ma­pa­pan­gala­gaan natin ang turismo ng lung­sod,” he pointed out. He added the law can even be help­ful in other parts of the coun­try where there are tourism des­ti­na­tions. He cited the fact that there is no ex­ist­ing na­tion­wide law that specif­i­cally pro­tects the rights of trav­el­ers. “Da­pat naka-spec­ify sa batas ang mga kara­p­atan ng mga trav­el­ers. Ang pag-aar­alan lang nyan yong Bill of Rights na nasa at­ing Con­sti­tu­tion, and from there, ay ma­pa­gar­alan at makak­a­gawa ng spe­cific para sa mga trav­el­ers,” he said. Awat cited the case of a tourist who booked ac- com­mo­da­tions in a ho­tel and paid on­line but when the tourist ar­rived he found out that it was not the same ho­tel that was ad­ver­tised on the in­ter­net. The bill of rights for trav­el­ers, he said, will also pro­tect them from un­scrupu­lous trans­port ser­vices that de­mand full pay­ment even if they are un­able to com­plete the tours. The ab­sence of a trav­eler’s bill of rights, said Awat, makes them prone to abuses. “Un­fair yon sa mga trav­el­ers kaya da­pat dito sa Puerto Princesa at sa ibang lu­gar sa Pilip­inas ay alam ng trav­eler na na­pa­pan­gala­gaan ang kanyang kara­p­atan. Kung may Bill of Rights ay maar­ing ireklamo ng trav­eler kung ano man yong mga paglabag sa kanyang kara­p­atan,” he also said. If the law is passed, tourism es­tab­lish­ments will be made aware of their du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to the trav­el­ers, Awat said.

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