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Panglao in Bohol’s development agenda for tourism
« on: December 07, 2011, 06:35:57 PM »
By Bohol Standard

Gov. Edgar M. Chatto set the tone for an open minded discussion during the realization of the much talked about Panglao tourism forum on Wednesday, November 16.

In his message, the governor underscored the significance of Panglao as key municipality in Bohol’s development agenda for tourism, commending Mayor Alcala for initiating the forum after issues particular to Panglao cropped up during the 1st Bohol Tourism Summit in June.

Chatto emphasized the importance of a good public-private working relationship as he explained individual roles of government, the private sector in the tourism industry, the host community, the civil society, academe, and media, and even the roles of tourists in the cycle of sustainable tourism implementation.

He further challenged concerned government, private and civil society stakeholders to take part in and reap the fruits of development that responsible tourism will bring to Panglao, citing the forum as the ideal venue to be able to focus on a particular direction for tourism in the island municipality.

Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala for his part put an end to speculation on whether or not he was attending the forum as he welcomed over 200 participants from the transportation, accommodations, food, souvenirs, environment, youth, academe, women, and heritage and culture sectors who gathered at the Alona Kew Resort.

Alcala himself recognized and gave a rundown of pressing issues plaguing the municipality such as roads improvement, authority over Balicasag Island, waste management, potable water supply, lack of terminal for water crafts, labor, the Local Government Unit’s (LGU) unfinished Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), and updates on the New Bohol Airport.

The very same concerns were brought up during the open forum which were however addressed during the sectoral dialogues, where sector representatives sat with corresponding provincial and national agencies to identify issues specific to their area, come up with plans to address these, assign person/agency in charge and to determine time frames for implementation.

Earlier, Department of Tourism (DOT) Director Maria Rica Bueno urged businesses to reach for the stars as DOT strives to make the Philippine tourism industry internationally competitive. She also stressed about the potential of Bohol to become a very big contributor to such goal.

Participants also listened to discussions on the Mandate of LGU to Enact and Enforce Ordinances focusing on Balicasag issues from Provincial Consultant Atty. Emeterio Moreno, Tourism Economic Zones and Investment Issues from the TIEZA Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel Atty. Guiller Asido, Business Taxes from Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Regional Director Rodita Galanto, and Prevention of Child Trafficking from the End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children (ECPAT) Philippines President Amihan Abueva.

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