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RP Tourism Sectors Ushers In Vibrant Year 2010
Tourism Secretary Ace Durano (extreme left) welcomes the members and officers of the Tourism Congress' second session held recently at Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

On the first working day of 2010, key players in the tourism industry roll up their sleeves and buckle down to work to effect the full implementation of the Tourism Act or Republic Act No. 9593.

Convened by Tourism Secretary Ace Durano last November 25, the Tourism Congress, which serves as the private sector consultative body will assist the Department of Tourism (DoT) in the development, implementation, and coordination of tourism policies, according to Ms Maricon Basco-Ebron, tourism director and attaché at the Embassy of the Philippines in Korea .

She returned to Seoul last week after attending the Tourism Congress' second session held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila during which Durano commended the members and officers of the Congress for accomplishing the Constitution and By-Laws and meeting for the second time to iron out the guidelines for the conduct of the organization, membership, and nomination to the governing boards.

The tourism chief also emphasized the importance of the next agenda for the Congress which is the nomination of the representatives for implementing arms of the department namely the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC).

"We cannot start implementing the rules and regulations of this Congress without the nominations of the Board of Directors of the TPB, TIEZA, and the DFPC. Hopefully next year we can start organizing all these implementing arms because all of the stakeholders of the industry are all ready to work the very first day of 2010," Ms Ebron quoted Secretary Durano as having said during the session.

On the other hand, Tourism Congress president Charlie Uy of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed his gratitude to the tourism private sectors for showing their support and actively participating in drafting a better environment for all the sectors in the industry.

"The Board of Trustees worked very hard to lay out the basic organizational framework which will push the congress to start its work. It is true that there's still so much work to be done but with the substantial involvement of the members, we look forward to a vibrant industry ahead," said Uy.

Uy reinstated that a well represented private sector will serve as a pulse for the tourism industry throughout Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Since the members of the board are not a monopoly of one area, the whole congress, even the geographically diversified, is balanced.

The Board of Trustees expect the implementation of the tourism programs of TPB, TIEZA, and DFPC early 2010 after setting a deadline extension of representative nominations for another 30 days after December 24th.






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