‘Philippines should also be known for Pinoy love’

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
�Philippines should also be known for Pinoy love�
The Department of Tourism announces its new campaign slogan on June 27, 2023.
Philstar.com / Rosette Adel

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from tourist destinations and attractions, President Marcos said the Philippines should be known for the “love” shared by Filipinos with travelers.

“I must tell you, for somebody who talks to many other nationalities from around the world, what really brings the travelers here are certainly the beautiful sites, the fun activities, the great facilities. But the most important part is the heart of the Filipino, that we show the love of the Filipino, that we show even strangers we have never met before and will no longer meet after they have come here,” he said.

“(Filipinos would) show the world we have long been ready to love them back,” he added.

It was seemingly another nod to the “Love the Philippines” campaign of the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched in late June 2023.

The President declared his support for Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco despite criticisms of the promotional video for the campaign, which used stock footage shot in other countries.

Marcos attended the awarding ceremony of the DOT’s Tourism Champions Challenge yesterday, over a year after its launch on April 5, 2023.

The local government units (LGUs) of Ambaguio in Nueva Vizcaya, Tubigon in Bohol and Isabela City in Basilan emerged as “tourism champions.”

They were followed by Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro, Badian in Cebu and Davao City in Davao del Sur in second place.

Bolinao in Pangasinan, Silago in Southern Leyte and Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte were in third place.

San Jose in Romblon, Victorias City in Negros Occidental and Tagum City in Davao del Norte were in fourth place.

Socorro in Oriental Mindoro, town of Panay in Capiz and San Agustin in Surigao del Sur placed fifth.

First place winners would receive grants worth P20 million each; second place, P15 million; third, P10 million; fourth, P8 million; fifth, P7 million.

The LGUs will receive their grants from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), a DOT-attached agency.

Marcos also surprised the winners after announcing that TIEZA added a P5-million fund to each winner.

The Tourism Champions Challenge called on LGUs to submit proposals containing “innovative tourism infrastructure projects that aim to foster sustainability, inclusivity and resilience in tourism development,” Frasco said.

“(The proposals should also) enhance local destinations and communities and provide added economic opportunity for our communities nationwide,” she added.

The DOT selected 15 winners from 98 proposals submitted by 90 LGUs nationwide, she noted. — Helen Flores

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