Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco will conduct “listening tours” across the country starting this week, as part of the Department’s strategy to better connect with stakeholders and employ a shared tourism governance approach toward the tourism industry recovery.
Secretary Frasco made the announcement on Monday (July 4) during her first flag-raising ceremony as the new head of the agency.
“This week, I will be starting my listening tour as the Secretary of the Department of Tourism to see for myself and to hear the challenges faced by our regional offices and tourism stakeholders across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The objective is to be at the front and center of the prevailing issues that need to be addressed and to craft solutions that will ensure the full rehabilitation and recovery of the tourism industry,” said Secretary Frasco, who was officially sworn in last Thursday (June 30) during the Oath Taking of Cabinet Secretaries at the Malacañang Palace.
In her flag-raising ceremony address, Frasco expressed her gratitude to the DOT officials and employees for their hard work and unceasing dedication during the pandemic and for giving her a warm welcome during her initial visit and organizational meetings held last week at the DOT Central Office in Makati City.
“I am fully aware of the service and the sacrifice of our frontliners not only in health, not only in the executive branch of government, in the local government units, but also in the Department of Tourism. Because, notwithstanding the challenges of the pandemic, the work had to continue if only to ensure that our brothers and sisters whose livelihood depends on tourism would be shielded from the economic impact that the pandemic has left in its wake,” explained the DOT chief.
“To all of you that have continued the good work of the Department of Tourism, whether you are in the central or regional offices all over the country, I thank you. Salamat kaayo sa inyong serbisyo ug sakripisyo taliwala sa tanang kalisod,” said Frasco.
Sharing her future plans as the new DOT chief, Frasco underscored the importance of being “in touch with the realities on the ground” in addition to focusing on the crafting of national policy.
“We foresee a Department of Tourism that is not only focused on the crafting of national policy but, more importantly, to be in touch with the realities on the ground, to give attention to sites, peoples, products that have not necessarily been given equal opportunity to be developed, to reach out to all regional offices, all of our partners in the local government units, to extend to them the hand of collaboration from the Department of Tourism, and to send across the message that we are here to help the industry arise and recover,” Frasco enthused.
This collaborative and consultative approach, Frasco said, is in alignment with the overall vision of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for the tourism industry “to become one of the major economic pillars for the Philippines” under his administration. She then appealed for the support of the DOT workforce behind the President’s directive.
“We must not only continue to do the work that we have been doing, but we must exert extra effort to give everything that we can within what is humanly possible, to ensure that our Department becomes one of the major economic contributors in the Marcos administration,” Frasco stressed.
“I have full trust in the workforce of the Department of Tourism because you have been forged in the fire of the pandemic. We’ve been through it, we have survived, and we have thrived. There is no other challenge that we could not possibly surmount,” she added.