Senate honors late DOT chief Jimenez, ‘the man who put a fun PH on the world map’
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has honored former Tourism Secretary Ramon “Mon” Jimenez, Jr., who passed away last April 27 at the age of 64, for his contributions to tourism and the advertising and communications industry.
During the chamber’s session on Tuesday, Senate Resolution No. 399 was adopted in consideration with Senate Resolution No. 402.
The resolutions were separately introduced by Senators Francis Pangilinan and Leila De Lima, respectively.
All senators were made co-author of the resolution after it was adopted.
Pangilinan, in his sponsorship speech, remembered Jimenez as “the man who put the fun Philippines on the world map.”
The late tourism chief was behind the country’s tourism campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”
Jimenez had “many golden nuggets of wisdom,” Pangilinan also said.
The senator said Jimenez’ “golden lessons “were always anchored in democracy and the voices of the small people.”
“During the social media boom after 2010, particularly of micro-blogging site twitter, the word fun and the Philippines were frequently seen twitted together. Sec. Mon took advantage of this social media insight and eight years ago, on January 6, 2012, the ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ tourism campaign was launched,” he said.
“After a while, the slogan became a meme, and thousands of Filipinos started using it in various media platforms,” he added.
Pangilinan said the popular slogan remains a reminder of what can be achieved with creativity and foresight, bringing unprecedented achievements for the tourism industry.
During the term of Jimenez, the senator noted that tourism arrivals and revenues doubled and global awareness for the Philippines as a top tourism destination has elevated.
“Such achievements redounded to the economic well-being of countless Filipinos, creating jobs and businesses, and expanding the horizon of opportunity for many of our countrymen. The success of his tenure as tourism chief strengthened values that contribute greatly to nation-building, deepening our people’s sense of national pride,” Pangilinan said.
He said Jimenez was recognized not only his formidable talents as a communicator but his integrity and incorruptibility, humility, fairness, and love of country.
For her part, De Lima said the country’s tourism competitiveness rose by 20 places from 94th in 2011 to 74th in 2015 under the guidance of Jimenez.
She said Jimenez was also a key contributor in tourism policies that helped shape the National Tourism Development Program (NTDP) for 2016 to 2022.
“The World Bank also praised Sec. Jimenez by stating that he was able to transform the DOT “into a primary selling unit whose main goal is not only to improve statistics but to ensure that every tourism success would include and benefit as many Filipinos as possible,” De Lima said.
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