Posted on May 12th, 2009
A new law has been signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that that will help gear the Department of Tourism with the necessary tools it needs to turn the Philippines into a world-class destination.
The Republic Act 9593, also known as the National Tourism Policy Act of 2009, declaring a national policy for tourism as an engine of investment, employment, growth and national development, was signed during the One Visayas Summit on Climate Change at the Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort Hotel.
Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said that the RA 9593 will be providing DOT with powerful â€œjet enginesâ€ which will allow it to â€œflyâ€ closer to its goals. â€œIf the DOT is an airplane, we have been given with powerful jet engines so we can fly higher. What is important is we do the transition to this new framework without disrupting whatâ€™s happening today. Thatâ€™s why the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) is very important to ensure a smooth transition,â€ Durano said.
President Arroyo said that the Tourism Act will contribute to the efforts to â€œreduce the effects of climate change by giving more teeth to our tourism jobs-creation policy which has a very strong environmental-protection component.â€
The new law is expected to be fully implemented by the end of the year through implementing rules and regulations that would ensure the â€œsmooth transfer of functionsâ€ with regards to the agencies which are affected by the RA 9593.
RA 9593 will be reorganizing some agencies, such as the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp, which will become the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB); the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) will become the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza); and the Duty Free Philippines will also be reorganized and renamed into the Duty Free Philippines Corp. (DFPC).
TBP will be a corporate body responsible for marketing and promoting the Philippines as a global tourism destination. Tieza, on the other hand is another corporate body who is mandated to designate, regulate and supervise tourism enterprise zones (TEZs) and to develop, manage and supervise tourism projects in the country. TPB and Tieza will be provided each with a capitalization of P250 million and subscribed by the national government.
â€œTourism enterprise zonesâ€ will also be established in strategic areas like Cebu, Davao, Bohol, Laguna, Cavite, Boracay, Palawan and Iloilo.