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Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion - CI­TI­ZEN FE

IAM in­ter­ested in tourism projects since I was among the re­source per­sons lec­tur­ing on Philip­pine flora and fauna (plants and an­i­mals) to fu­ture tour guides at the main of­fice of the De­part­ment of Tourism in Manila.

Other lec­tur­ers take up history, laws, reg­u­la­tions, special sites of sig­nif­i­cance, and tra­di­tions.

I en­joyed my lec­tures with slide shows and work­shops. My stu­dents en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence. I was thank­ful be­cause I am a teacher by pro­fe­sion. Our les­son on rec­og­niz­ing birds by the sounds they make thrilled my stu­dents. Repli­cas of trips to Mount Bana­haw, to Palawan kept them awake and in­ter­ested. We were given hon­o­rar­i­ums for our ser­vices.

The re­cent news which got my in­ter­est is the Me­dia Congress held in Camp John Hay con­ven­tion hall in Baguio City. The guest speaker was Sec­re­tary Wanda Teo who spoke on “The Shared Re­spon­si­bil­ity for Tourism Pro­pos­als. The first year of Pres­i­dent Duterte recorded a total rev­enue of P220.30 mil­lion. There were six mil­lion for­eign tourists vis­it­ing the coun­try from July 2011 to May 2017. The in­dus­try is vi­brant and the ac­tiv­i­ties are in­tended for a con­tin­u­ing shared re­spon­si­bil­ity be­tween the gov­ern­ment and other stake­hold­ers es­pe­cially the me­dia to en­sure its sus­tain­able growth. Sec­re­tary Teo said that the Philip­pine Tourism De­vel­op­ment Plan is al­ready in line with the coun­try’s Medium-Term and the long term “Am­bisyon Natin 2040” eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment plan and sus­tain­able tourism growth.

The Pres­i­dent has promised to spend P677 bil­lion in tourism in­fra­struc­ture. It will con­tinue en­cour­ag­ing pri­vate in­vest­ments par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral de­vel­op­ment; pro­mote tourism MSMEs; en­hance hu­man re­sources and to en­able the in­di­gents to take part in the build­ing of Eco-tourism sites in the coun­try­side.

The gov­ern­ment has also di­rected all re­gional of­fices to es­tab­lish tourism me­dia fa­cil­i­ties to let the public know the tourism pro­grams, projects and ser­vices in the coun­try.

The PTA has taken ini­tia­tive to in­cor­po­rate ecol­ogy plan­ning as part of our tourism en­rich­ment plan. There is the long term growth of eco­tourism plans to at­tain the sus­tain­abil­ity of nat­u­ral and cul­tural re­sources. The plan fur­ther in­te­grates its goals of us­ing NGOs (non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions) and oth­ers in­volved as air­lines, tour op­er­a­tors and sup­pli­ers for fa­cil­i­ties. Re-green­ing the coun­try­side in­volves hav­ing ir­ri­gated farm lands. Trained farm­ers to tend the lands is a re­quire­ment. This is one way of sav­ing the earth. All tourists ob­serv­ing these pro­grams for sav­ing the earth through eco­log­i­cal plan­ning will spread the in­for­ma­tion to their na­tions. Thus, in a way our tourism in­dus­try shoots two birds in one shot. I re­mem­ber my Google Win­ning Book for best book on ecol­ogy and en­vi­ron­ment for year 2000 - “Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment - Ev­ery Filipino’s Con­cern”. Let us help save the earth. All read­ers of this book, reprinted ver­ba­tim from front to back cov­ers must have learned eco­tourism. For com­ments text mo­bile num­ber (0920) 211-2534.

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