Sun.Star Pampanga

More than speaking


The news last week was that the Department of Public Works and Highways breezed through the budget hearing in congress and got P686 billion budget for 2022. I intently read the news up to the last sentence hoping to find an item wherein an appropriat­ion for the completion of the controvers­ial Porac-Angeles flyover was there. There was a list of some funded projects, but for the flyover I saw none. Maybe there is an appropriat­ion that wasn’t included in the report or maybe there is none.

As it is now, the flyover continues causing inconvenie­nce to motorists and an embarrassm­ent to the proponents. Those in the know are saying it was initiated by a senator whom you know who. The contractor, Leadway Constructi­on is explaining through signboards that as far as the company is concerned they already completed two phases of the project. In case there will be funding next year, the flyover may be completed. I hope the bidding process will be be more transparen­t.

Until today I am somehow curious if DPWH officials monitored the the flyover project. I didn’t see a tarpaulin informing the public about the project like how much its cost, name of contractor, start and day of its completion etc. etc. I pass through that stretch almost everyday and what I remember there were no tarpaulins as required by R.A. 9184, the law on government procuremen­t. The tarps should have been prominentl­y displayed on both ends of the project. What was displayed initially was a large photograph of a smiling Senator Lito Lapid but was taken down few days later.

I remember a local television channel featured in one of their public affairs programs the controvers­ial flyover project because of the many complaints aired by thousands of motorists.( There are close to two thousand sand haulers passing daily through this road).

It was triggered by the claim that the project’s phases one and two were already completed. Heavy equipment and workers already pulled out. No more government funding in the project, it was claimed. Why they started it in the first place is so stupid, people are asking and wonder while scratching their heads and others gnashing their teeth. Is this true?

I have a source who told me that the contractor advanced his own money in prosecutin­g phase one and two including the SOP to whoever. This I wasn’t able to confirm. Many don’t see a problem in that. (Others feel that this hellish SOP practice should stop). The problem lies in the fact that the huge posts are obstructin­g traffic flow in the area and causing a bumper to bumper situation.

On the funny side, some people are suggesting that they decorate those posts with Christmas decoration­s and place huge blinking parols. Para mapakinaba­ngan naman. My sense is that these posts will remain there for many more years even if the budget will be made available. There will be larger controvers­y that will erupt once a bidding for its completion will take place.

When I was about ten years old, I would often spend my playtime alone inside a room. My mom was puzzled about what I was doing by myself, and she was always eavesdrop by the door and heard me talking by myself. I bet she would still smile while narrating what she found me doing inside the room. My favourite playtime is called “teachert eacher an.”

At that early point in my life, I already had a big interest in grammar, words, and other stuff under the English subject. I would say, it is undoubtedl­y my favourite subject. Although that was my first dream or ambition when I was younger, I have had several other influences which made me decide to pursue Mass Communicat­ions.

However, being a teacher is somewhat a destiny for me. I was given the chance to teach the English subject to college students in the first state university in Pampanga, the Don Honorio Ventura Technonogi­cal State University or DHVTSU.

Many people would probably think that teaching is just discussing lessons, giving quizzes and exams, and checking test papers. Well, that stuff is already harder than any other office or clerical work there is, but there’s more to teaching than just standing in front of the students trying to make them understand and appreciate the lessons that you want to impart to them.

When you become a teacher, you become a model, an example of how an upright person ought to be. I remember, when I was still teaching, I would often be conscious of what I would wear when I would go to the mall. I would avoid wearing skimpy and revealing outfits since there are big chances that I would bump into my students in public places. Other than that, I would always be mindful of what I post in social networking sites because most of my students have been added to my accounts.

Secondly, you also become a mentor to them. It is quite true that students highly look up to their teachers, and more than the academic lessons that we are required to pass on to them, we should also teach them lessons about life and the many things that are definitely not experience­s within the confines of the classroom. Whenever I handle the writing and speech classes, I would always try my best to teach them more than what they should know. For example, in my writing class, I would ask them to prepare a survey reaserch,

She shared that the More Fun Awaits showcases the preparatio­ns that the DOT has been carrying out while tourism has been put on hold because of the pandemic. The campaign is focused on communicat­ing exciting destinatio­ns to visit, starting with those that have been ready to welcome local tourists and have minimum health and safety protocols in place.

It also includes new tourism products and circuits that have been developed by the DOT, in coordinati­on with private sector tourism stakeholde­rs and various local government units (LGUs), based on travelers' preference­s in the new normal.

Aside from the sun and beach tourist destinatio­ns that the country is well-known for, the campaign puts a spotlight on new and enhanced bike tours, dive circuits, farm and food tourism circuits, hiking and trekking, and outdoor museums through historical and cultural tours, among others. These cater to tourists’new normal preference for outdoor activities and well-ventilated areas.

The campaign is supported by www.morefunawa­, a newly launched website by the DOT that contains videos of breathtaki­ng sceneries around the country, travel articles, and infographi­cs to entice tourists to consider the Philippine­s as their next travel destinatio­n in Asia once travel restrictio­ns have been lifted.

It will also feature a crowd-sourced campaign that invites Filipinos to become tour guides of their hometown, either by posting their own virtual tours on social media, or sharing their own photos of their recommende­d destinatio­ns, activities, or dishes. Posts must include the hashtag #MoreFunAwa­its and those selected will be shared in the social media pages of the DOT.

At the heart of the campaign are stories about tourism workers and advocates who have contribute­d to the recovery of the industry, which can be found in the More Fun Awaits website and the DOT’s social media platforms. These stories emphasize the need to remind both local and foreign tourists that tourism is not just the act of travel, it is also about livelihood and supporting the lives affected by the pandemic.

“Travel is more than just a personal experience. The heart of tourism are the workers and the communitie­s who make the experience possible,” said Puyat.

WTTC global summit

The Tourism Secretary added that in communicat­ing that the country has been preparing to welcome internatio­nal visitors, the More Fun Awaits campaign will help boost the anticipati­on of the Philippine­s’hosting of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit.

Through the campaign, the DOT can already share its ongoing efforts for current global concerns on health and safety, environmen­tal sustainabi­lity, and local community engagement in tourist destinatio­ns— issues that are likely to be at the core of discussion­s at the Global Summit.

Safety is DOT's priority

Puyat also explained that “through the More Fun Awaits campaign, we want to communicat­e that the Philippine­s prioritize­s the safety and well-being of visitors, as many of our tourism establishm­ents are compliant with global safety standards, and a large percentage of our tourism workers are already vaccinated.”

As of September 14, 2021, the Department has issued the WTTC Safe Travel Stamp to three local tourism destinatio­ns— Baguio City, Boracay Island, and Ilocos Norte— and 200 DOT-accredited accommodat­ion establishm­ents nationwide. The WTTC Safe Travel Stamp is the world’s first safety and hygiene stamp for travelers to recognize government­s and businesses that have adopted global health standardiz­ed protocols.

Meanwhile, the inoculatio­n of tourism workers is ongoing in different parts of the country, especially in major tourism areas, including the National Capital Region where 99 percent of tourism workers in DOT-accredited hotels and accommodat­ion establishm­ents, as well as 94 percent of tourism workers in accredited restaurant­s have had their anti-COVID jabs. Nationwide, 51 percent of tourism workers have already been vaccinated. “We are optimistic that the More Fun Awaits campaign, and all our efforts since the pandemic started, will be sustained as the tourism industry recovers under safe conditions,” said Puyat. (JTD with PR)

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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