Luc Citrinot - 23 August 2012, 10:22
Under the program entitled “PHI Strengthening Institutions for an Improved Investment Climate”, the RIA is part of ADB’s technical assistance to implement the Philippine Development Plan’s goal of increasing competitiveness for inclusive growth. The same assistance is also extended by ADB to other developing countries like Laos and Cambodia.
RIA seeks to boost the global competitiveness of the country’s tourism sector, as it allows the development of improved regulations based on best practice principles and international norms. It also gives the opportunity to better understand issues and set objectives through analyses, assessment, and consultations with all stakeholders in arriving at the most optimal policy.
DOT Office of Tourism Planning, Research, and Information Management Director Rolando Cañizal cited that implementing the accommodation standards for hotels and designation of tourism enterprise zones is being reviewed under the DOT-ADB RIA program. The new standards are set to take effect nationwide by December 2012.
RIA will also be used as a lens to aid in the designation of tourism enterprise zones and strengthen coordination between the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zones Authority(TIEZA) and other departments to establish one-stop shops and facilitate the grant of incentives.“We welcome ADB’s assistance in our campaign to boost tourism competitiveness. The tourism industry is one of the sectors affected by many regulations. Streamlining these regulations will encourage foreign direct investments (FDIs) and potentially help us attain our goals for 2016,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said.
The National Tourism Development Plan sets forth the following objectives for 2016: 10 million international visitors, 35.5 million domestic travelers, 8.1% industry contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, and 17% share to the national employment.
Local tourism and labor stakeholders in Davao and Cebu expressed support for the pilot implementation of RIA programs in the DOT and DOLE. “I feel much more assured that this public private partnership is towards building regulations that make sense,” Hans Hauri of the Hotels Resorts and Restaurant of Cebu shared.
“Tourism is about selling the whole country – its attractions, services, culture, and people. This initiative is linked with our campaign “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, in cultivating a culture of competitiveness and establishing the Philippines as a challenger brand in the region. Collectively, we must work towards achieving an ideal business environment to attract more tourists and investments,” Secretary Jimenez enthused.
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