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DOT PUSHES FOR SUSTAINABLE LAGUNA TOURISM

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has pledged to continuously promote Laguna as a fun, safe, and sustainable tourist destination with the help of the province’s local government units (LGUs) and private sector.

“I like to say that tourism is everybody’s business, as all sectors of society reap benefits when tourism thrives in a responsible and sustainable manner. For this reason, I would like to thank the provincial and local government units of Laguna, as well as our tourism industry stakeholders, for your steadfast cooperation and collaboration in these efforts to restart tourism,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

“Tourism is everybody’s business, as all sectors of society reap benefits when tourism thrives in a responsible and sustainable manner.”

Romulo-Puyat was in San Pablo, Laguna to spearhead the hybrid press conference and industry stakeholders’ meeting with Laguna 3rd District representative and chairman of the House of Representatives’ tourism committee Sol Aragones, Governor Ramil Hernandez, San Pablo City Mayor Loreto Amante, and other provincial leaders.

The tourism chief said the areas of collaboration include the support to the flagship domestic tourism program of the DOT 4A (Calabarzon) called the GREEN Corridor Initiative; product development and enhancement centered on farm, culinary, ecotourism, nature, and adventure; new normal marketing campaigns; provision of capacity building programs; and the strict implementation of minimum health and safety protocols.

“This flagship domestic tourism program aims to spur the recovery and transition of the Laguna Tourism Cluster into the new normal.”

“This flagship domestic tourism program aims to spur the recovery and transition of the Laguna Tourism Cluster into the new normal. Upon its launch in April, it will include the city of San Pablo and the municipalities of Liliw, Rizal, and Nagcarlan,” the tourism head stressed.

She added that through its regional office, the DOT continues to conduct on-site inspections of accommodation establishments to ensure strict compliance with DOT health and safety guidelines.

As of January 28, a total of 1,489 accommodation establishments were given the green light to operate in the region, 871 of which are in Laguna.

Anchored on the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Bayanihan 2, the DOT extended its commitment to support the affected tourism workers under the Cash Assistance Program, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

As of January 31, DOT-4A has endorsed 596 tourism enterprises, tour guide associations, and community-based tourism associations to avail of the assistance.

Some 252 of these are in Laguna while 23,058 beneficiaries are targeted across the region.

So far, the DOLE-4A has approved 656 establishments, 435 of which directly applied at the regional labor office, while 221 were endorsed by the DOT-4A, the majority, or 160, of which are located in Laguna.

A total of 11,670 beneficiaries were paid a total of P58.35 million.

“Laguna’s tourism sector will play an important role in the growth of the Philippines’ tourism industry. Let us do our part to make tourism a cornerstone of the economy, a creator of jobs and livelihoods, and a source of national pride,” Romulo-Puyat said.

Meanwhile, the DOT-4A has also endorsed one tourism infrastructure project in Liliw for the construction of a Tourism Assistance Center and Green Restroom, and four in San Pablo, including the Doña Leonila Park Improvement and Rehabilitation; Sampaloc Lake Wharf and Floating Stage; Sampaloc Lake lamp posts and trash bins; and city heritage zone and historical sites.

The project is under the D.R.E.A.M.S. (Destination, Restoration, Eco-sustainability, Agri-tourism, Medical Assistance, and Security and Accessibility) thrust of its attached agency, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

In the same project, implemented tourism infrastructure include the Tourism Information Center and Tourist Rest Area (Green Restroom) in San Pablo in 2017; the Tourism Information Center and Tourist Rest Area (Green Restroom) in Rizal in 2018; the completion of the Tayak Adventure Park and Nature Park in Rizal in 2018; and the repair and improvement of Gat Tayaw Street by converting the asphalt road to red brick road in Liliw in 2019. 

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