Tourism chief Frasco dives into Puerto Galera, provides alternative livelihood to Oriental Mindoro

Not even the rain stopped Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco from joining divers in Puerto Galera town, Oriental Mindoro in a scuba diving activity on Wednesday (April 12) – in a show of support to the tropical paradise which remains 100 percent open for tourism.

Secretary Frasco was joined by Puerto Galera Mayor Rocky Ilagan, Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation (TRCRG) Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, and Region 4B Director Zeny Pallugna at the La Laguna Point, a popular dive spot in the local travel destination.

Secretary Frasco, who sits as the chairman of the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), said that the DOT’s presence in Puerto Galera shows the commitment of the current administration to help the industry recover not only in times of crisis but also during challenging situations.

“Puerto Galera continues to be unaffected by the oil spill, and it continues to open itself to tourism worldwide. We are hopeful that through the efforts of the Provincial Government of Mindoro, our local government units, our mayors, our congressmen, as well as the help of the regional office of the Department of Tourism that tourism recovery and transformation under the Marcos Administration will continue. Notwithstanding the difficulties, the challenges, and the calamities this province has and is facing, the Philippines, including Puerto Galera and Mindoro continues to be a beautiful tourist destination,” she said.

In an interview with the media, she said that the visit is also to encourage more tourists to continue visiting Puerto Galera as it remains unaffected by the oil spill caused by the sunken tanker MT Princess Empire off the coast of Oriental Mindoro last February 28.

Napakaganda ng Puerto Galera! We are very hopeful that the message is sent across to everyone that they should come and visit Puerto Galera,” enthused the tourism chief.

Apart from its white beach, Puerto Galera is famous for its scuba diving spots offering diving veterans and even enthusiasts a diverse view of the underneath, combining an impressive view of shipwrecks, corals, and other marine life.
Local tourism data showed that from April 3 to 10, 2023, a total of 18,757 tourists visited the tropical paradise, of which the top source of foreign markets are China, South Korea, the United States of America (USA), Japan, and Germany.

Mayor Ilagan, who also joined the DOT secretary and other officials in the diving activity, expressed gratitude to the Department for paying a special visit to the town, citing that Secretary Frasco was the first tourism chief to set foot in Puerto Galera since 2003.

“For us dito sa bayan ng Puerto Galera, we are grateful na dumating ang Tourism Secretary. Maraming salamat din sa ating Regional Director ng DOT, kay Usec. na nandito rin ngayon, di ko maipaliwanag kung gaano kami kasaya after so many years,” he said.

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