Isko Moreno vows to support tourism dev’t In Quirino, other remote areas
NAGTIPUNAN, Quirino – Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday vowed that if elected, he will support and promote the tourism industry in Quirino province, particularly in this town, to spread growth and progress in the countryside and speed up the country’s recovery from the impact of the two-year COVID-19 pandemic.
“Gusto koong maiparamdam sa kanila na ngayon pa lamang, inaaral ko, pinipilit kong malaman yung katatayuan nila. Katulad halimbawa yung sinabi ni Mayor (Nieverose) Meneses, turista, e kailangan nila, konting ayuda na lang sa pondo. Meron na silang plano, meron na silang naiisip. Kailangan na lang nila konting suporta ng national government,” Moreno told reporters after a town hall meeting in this town.
“If these things can create jobs and opportunities, then it is line with our goals and aspirations, kami ni Doc Willie (Ong), na in the first two years, life and livelihood. And this will be supported as a matter of compromise and promise and commitment to the Quirino people especially dito sa area kung nasaan tayo,” said Moreno.
During the town hall meeting, Moreno was warmly welcomed by Mayor Nieverose Meneses, where the 47-year-old presidential candidate was treated to modern and native dances and video presentations of the town and the province’s many tourist attractions.
“Pag nakita ni Yorme ang pinagmamalaki nating Landingan Viewpoint, mamamangha siya at siguradong tutulungan niya ang Quirino pagdating sa turismo,” said Meneses, who is also a member of the Bugkalot tribe of the said town.
Also found in Nagtipunan are the 50-meter high Mactol Falls, the “Bimmapor,” a rock formation similar to a sunken ship, of which only the upper decks are protruding from the ground, and the Pusuac cave and watershed, among others. Even the town’s municipal hall is listed as a tourist spot.
Like in all tourist spots across the country, Nagtipunan’s tourism industry was badly affected by the pandemic, leading to loss of jobs and livelihood. The easing of travel restrictions, in the country and across the world, has given hope for the revival of the industry and bring in desperately needed jobs and livelihood to Filipinos.
Tourism development is one of the main pillars of Moreno’s 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda which is his blueprint to hasten human and economic growth in the six years of his term once elected.
Prior to the pandemic, the sector has contributed 12.7 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) with about 5.4 million Filipinos getting their livelihood from the tourism industry.
Under Moreno’s Economic Agenda, the building of tourism highways and development of tourism circuits will be prioritized along with the promotion of sustainable tourism and event-based tourism.
A major part of his accelerated infrastructure program is to prioritize equitable growth, thus infusing more infrastructure development in areas or provinces with low human development index (HDI) to bring about a more inclusive economic growth.
Thus, Moreno said tourism development will focus on lesser-known and under-developed tourist spots in the country to enhance countryside development.
“Like what I’ve been always telling before, a peso spent in Metro Manila will not bring us any addition to our economic development because of the Law of Diminishing Returns. However, the same peso spent in the far-flung areas can create more jobs and opportunities,” explained Moreno.
“The same thing, Baguio can be duplicated in Quirino. Meron pang isa sa Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, parang Baguio din daw yon, hindi ko pa napuntahan. So, if we create those sites, marami tayong pwedeng pasyalan. So yung pangarap nating mag-16 million tourists (by 2028) hindi sya imposible. Mahirap gawin pero hindi sya imposible kasi malaki ang bentahe ng Pilipinas,” said Moreno.
The Manila city mayor, however, stressed that all infrastructure and economic developments will be implemented only after a thorough consultation with the people in line with his North Star of “Tao ang una.”
“Kung kakayanin pa natin, baka may mga iba pa tayong bagay na kakailanganin nila base sa kanilang sinabi. Kasi ayaw ko naman silang papangunahan, baka kasi meron naman akong naisip e hindi naman fit sa kanilang mga pangangailangan,” Moreno said.
“Basta ako sabi ko nga sa inyo, ipararamdam natin, may awa ang Diyos, ipararamdam ko sa ating mga kababayan, Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon, ang pagkakapantay-pantay ng mga tao,” Moreno said.
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