Senators honor late Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez

THE Senate on Tuesday adopted Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan’s proposed resolution to honor late communications luminary and former Secretary of the Department of Tourism Ramon R. Jimenez Jr.

Jimenez was best known for putting the Philippines back in the global spotlight with his famous tourism campaign, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

“Secretary MonJ’s leadership imbued Philippine tourism with a lasting strategic direction. Ang layo ng narating natin bilang Pilipino dahil napakasimple at napaka-eleganteng kampanya tungkol sa ‘Kung sino tayo,’” Pangilinan said in his sponsorship speech.

“Sikat na sikat ang kampanya kasi yun ang puso sa bawat Pilipino — masayahin. And it brought about the unprecedented achievements for the Philippine tourism industry, almost doubling tourism arrivals and revenue, and creating the jobs and businesses we are now trying to save in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

In the Aquino administration, Jimenez was Tourism Secretary and Pangilinan was Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.

“His passing left many of us heartbroken, and in deep grief. I will always remember him as the man who loved and served his country well,” Pangilinan said.

Senate Resolution 399 noted the positive results of Jimenez’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” tourism campaign which has “redounded to the economic well-being of countless Filipinos, creating jobs and businesses, and expanding the horizon of opportunity for many of our countrymen.”

Jimenez is remembered as an advocate for democracy, with inclusive communications, affirming dialogue, and truth-telling as cornerstones.

“Sabi niya, truth is the most powerful instrument of persuasion — the antidote to the hate, lies, and anger of social media strategies that exploit big data, microtargeting, and algorithm bias,” Pangilinan said.

“He will be missed. We express our sincerest condolences to his daughters Nina and Sassa, and his many colleagues and adopted children in advertising, communications, and public service. Na-imagine ko ngayon si Sec MonJ, with his wife Abby by his side, looking down from heaven, telling all of us he left behind, ‘It is even more fun in heaven,’” he added.

Jimenez passed away last April 27, 2020.