Bohol gov't execs take steps to go digital | Inquirer News

Bohol gov’t execs take steps to go digital

A former policeman in Bohol province was arrested in a drug bust in Barangay Tawala, Panglao town on Sunday, July 9. FILE PHOTO

PANGLAO ISLAND, Bohol — Local government leaders in Bohol province have expressed willingness to embrace digitalization, saying it has become a global phenomenon that makes complicated programs easier.

“This (digitalization) will help our tourism industry. We have to keep abreast on what is the latest to respond to the demands of modern times. We need to level up like other countries, otherwise, we would be left behind,” said Panglao Vice Mayor Noel Hormachuelos during the “Sulong Turismo” held on the island on July 19.


Panglao Island, a popular tourist destination, has more than 1,000 business establishments. Most of them were closed during the COVID-pandemic.


Hormachuelos said digitalization is key in improving operations like cashless transactions, and in welcoming guests to the country.

“Travel businesses are increasingly relying on mobile apps to grow. Many tourists book trips via mobile apps and this percentage is only going to increase soon,” he said.

“Going cashless prevents several layers of canvassers since tourists have to pay directly to the hotel or owners which saves both time and money,” he added.

At least 1,000 leaders and stakeholders attended Sulong Turismo, a joint campaign with GCash, a mobile wallet in the country, and the provincial government of Bohol to revitalize tourism in the province.

Sulong Turismo aims to help boost tourism by integrating digital payment solutions in local campaigns.

Local governments with popular tourist spots would be empowered to adopt convenient cashless payments for such transactions as travel bookings and accommodations, among others.


By leveraging these digital tools and highlighting their wide-ranging benefits, the campaign hopes to enhance customer satisfaction, drive repeat visits, and invigorate the overall tourist experience.

“We are proud to be a part of the Sulong Turismo initiative. Financial inclusion towards economic growth has always been the main goal of GCash. And we believe that this can be achieved through partnerships with both the public and private sector, so that together we can present opportunities to business owners as well as the consumers, for safer, secure, convenient and profitable payment solutions that can boost the domestic tourism industry,” said GCash chief marketing officer Neil Trinidad.

The campaign was officially inaugurated through a seminar and dialogue, where the advantages of a digitalized tourism industry were extensively discussed, with a particular focus on local governments with prominent tourist destinations.

During the event, the Department of Tourism (DOT) unveiled plans for infrastructure development, a dedicated tourism website, and a cutting-edge tourism app. These initiatives aim to incentivize tourism-related businesses to embrace digital payments, ultimately fostering growth and prosperity in the sector.

Among the guests during the event were Bohol Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado and Tagbilaran City Mayor Jane Yap, among others.

Yap said Tagbilaran went digital a year ago by upgrading its emergency response system that links and communicates directly and instantly with the nearest emergency responders.

The city also introduced cashless payment in public markets through the Paleng-QR Ph Plus. Tagbilaran is the first city in the Visayas to adopt this app.

Their digitalization program also extends to their pet registry. Tagbilaran City has the first free microchipping services for pets in Bohol.  This microchip technology will reunite lost pets and help address rabies cases and road accidents.

Aumentado said there are many reasons to love Bohol.

“By promoting the value of digital solutions in showcasing tourism sites, Sulong Turismo helps streamline operations, enhance accessibility, and ensure sustainability while offering a seamless and enjoyable experience for both tourists and businesses alike,” he said.


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TAGS: Bohol, digitalization, local tourism

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