Proac­tive cri­sis plan­ning for Palawan urged

Palawan News - - PROVINCE - By Aira Ge­nesa Mag­dayao Re­porter

With Palawan’s tourism in­dus­try fac­ing dual threats of power in­ter­rup­tions and ter­ror­ism, it needs “proac­tive plan­ning” to counter them, an ex­pert said Tues­day.

Henry Teodoro Her­nia, se­cu­rity and busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity man­ager at Fluor Philip­pines and speaker from the Depart­ment of Tourism (DOT), said con­trol­ling the two crises rather than merely re­spond­ing to them will help the prov­ince im­prove its tourism in­dus­try and the in­volved sec­tor.

“Da­pat may­roong pro-ac­tive plan­ning, we are not re­ac­tive. We have to plan ahead, come up with con­cepts on how to avoid these crises or risks that may hap­pen. If we can­not avoid those things, at least we might be able to mit­i­gate the im­pacts,” he pointed out.

Her­nia spoke be­fore par­tic­i­pants to the re­cent Tourism Cri­sis Man­age­ment Sym­po­sium or­ga­nized by the DoT.

Her­nia said ter­ror­ism is a fac­tor that is con­sid­ered not only by the tourists but by the in­vestors be­cause se­cu­rity is im­por­tant in the tourism in­dus­try.

“Dito sa ( Here in) Palawan, I think power [is one of the cri­sis] and as far as I know there have been in­ci­dents of kid­nap­ping. Palawan has a lot of beau­ti­ful places, but you have to en­sure the se­cu­rity and safety of ev­ery­one. What if in­vestors find out that this prov­ince doesn’t have a se­cu­rity plan, then they will have a sec­ond thought to in­vest,” he said.

Aside from the two “ma­jor crises,” the cri­sis man­age­ment sym­po­sium also talked on how the tourism sec­tor should re­spond to calami­ties such as storm surges, floods, ty­phoons and other nat­u­ral and hu­man-in­duced dis­as­ters.

Shiela Marie Reyes of the Of­fice of the Civil De­fense (OCD) MIMAROPA of­fi­cer Sheila Marie Reyes said Palawan’s tourism sec­tor should also learn how to re­spond to fires, armed con­flicts, and the threat of ter­ror­ism.

“Kaya ang tourism sec­tor da­pat alam nila kung paano mag-re­sponde sa mga calami­ties. Pag­dat­ing na­man sa mga armed con­flicts, da­pat kung may­roon sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­i­ties or tao da­pat i-re­port kaa­gad since sila ang front­lin­ers. Da­pat may­roon at pat­u­loy ang kani­lang mga train­ings (The tourism sec­tor should know when or how to re­spond to calami­ties. When it comes to armed con­flicts, if there are sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­i­ties, they should help re­port im­me­di­ately since they are front­lin­ers. Train­ing on these should con­tinue),” Reyes said.

The par­tic­i­pants agreed that the tourism in­dus­try “helps in the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the prov­ince and many fam­i­lies that de­pend on it.”

Bomb­ing Gu­tier­rez, project co­or­di­na­tor of the event, said it is nec­es­sary that tourism stake­hold­ers should be trained on cri­sis man­age­ment since they are the first to en­gage the vis­i­tors.

“Ang laki ng con­tri­bu­tion ng tourism sa at­ing ekonomiya kaya lang there are many things na pwe­deng ma-dis­rupt ang at­ing turismo kaya da­pat handa (Tourism has a large con­tri­bu­tion to the econ­omy but some­times, there will be events where tourism will be dis­rupted and they need to be pre­pared),” he said.

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