May 2, 2009
Independent senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urges the government to focus their efforts in creating more jobs at home. Pangilinan, who is the senate chairman of the tourism committee, met last week with Department of Tourism Joseph Durano to help create policies in promoting the Philippines as a tourist destination.
“We have a beautiful country. It’s puzzling how countries like Singapore, whose resources cannot match ours in terms of manpower and attractions, can pull in millions of tourists a year, while we barely register on travelers’ radar as a must-see destination.”
Pangilinan believes that Filipinos’ exodus abroad is taking its toll on the quality of jobs currently available in the market. “Many are under-qualified for majority of posts being offered. While BPO’s are currently giving our country a boost, it’s only a stop-gap measure.”
Pangilinan cites the country’s lack of infrastructure as a major hindrance in making the country a tourist destination. “We lack efficient means of traveling to beautiful spots in the country. Out trains are uncomfortable, while our highways are intolerable in terms of traffic. These and more need to be addressed if we are to attract tourists.”
Pangilinan wrote in his web journal kilosko.blogspot.com top 10 reasons why there is genuine hope for the country. He mentioned the Philippines’ huge tourism potential. “Other countries are doing so much with so little, while we are doing so little with so much,” Pangilinan said.
“Data shows that for every tourist arrival, one job is generated. Hence the aggressive promotion of tourism is key to job generation. We must have laser-like focus on addressing issues such as infrastructure, accommodations and promotions. Government must throw resources at revenue generating endeavors, and tourism is key.”