Cebu News

Frasco vows: I will be a listening secretary

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Newly-confirmed Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco vows that her agency will continue to be a catalyst for the country’s economic growth.

“As I have already manifested early in my appointment, I intend to be a Listening Secretary throughout my term. Under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the Department of Tourism shall be consultative, collaborative, and inclusive in its efforts to attain the overarching vision of President Marcos, Jr. for tourism to become one of the major pillars for economic growth in the Philippines, and to lift up the industry to a certain level that will allow its benefits and development to encompass all parts of the country,” assured Sec. Frasco.

Secretary Frasco, a lawyer, was reelected mayor in the municipality of Liloan when he was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as DOT chief.

“At this time when our country’s tourism is trying to get back up from the devastating effects of the pandemic, we need someone at the helm of the Department of Tourism who can steer it with a clear vision and roadmap, not only to attract tourists to pre-pandemic levels, but to exceed the same. Secretary Frasco fits the bill quite well. She has proven herself to be well-equipped in terms of experience, qualification, and distinction,” remarked CA Committee on Tourism and Economic Development Chairperson Rep. Jose Gay G. Padiernos (Party List – GP PARTY), who moved for the CA’s confirmation of Secretary Frasco’s appointment, and was seconded by CA Vice Chairperson Rep. Ramon Guico Jr. (5th Dist. Pangasinan).

Frasco expressed her gratitude foremost to President Marcos, Jr., and to the members of the CA, and the CA Committee on Tourism and Economic Development on the confirmation of her appointment.

Incidentally, it also fell on the commemoration of the annual World Tourism Day, which for Frasco is a timely blessing.

“It is both an honor and a privilege to be bestowed the responsibility of steering a sector as pivotal as the tourism industry that is a source, not only of pride but more importantly, of livelihood of millions of Filipinos across the country,” enthused Secretary Frasco.

Committed to bringing her local government perspective, and a collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to the short, medium, and long-term development of the country’s tourism industry, Secretary Frasco appealed for the partnership and cooperation of all tourism stakeholders in the next six years.

PPP Projects

Meanwhile, local government units should engage in public-private partnerships (PPP) in other aspects other than transportation and logistics.

“Over the years, PPP projects are focused on only a few sectors like bridges. We need to take advantage and cover all the other sectors as well,” said Feroisa Concordia, Public-Private Partnership Center (PPPC) of the Philippines director for capacity building in a zoom conference spearheaded by the Regional Development Council-7 according to the City’s PIO.

Concordia, who has been working with PPPC in Manila for more than 10 years and has worked with the National Economic and Development Authority, said even President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. called for LGUs to get into more PPPs as a mode of financing their projects.

Concordia said PPP can very well be adopted in the development of other key sectors like healthcare, agro-industrial sectors, and sectors involving sustainability.

PPPs are contractual arrangements entered into by the government with the private sector wherein the private sector can build, operate and maintain public infrastructure facilities and provide services traditionally delivered by the government.

LGU must create a “comprehensive and substantial” study before presenting it to the private sector for possible funding and partnership, especially with the quick turnover of local officials.

Concordia assured those in attendance, who included Central Visayas mayors, that PPPC is always open to assist them. — LPM (FREEMAN)

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