DOT seeks seat in protected areas board for tourism dev’t

DOT seeks seat in protected areas board for tourism dev’t

/ 05:44 AM March 23, 2024

Department of Tourism Sec. Christina Frasco at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay, May 24, 2023. | PHOTO: Ryan Leagogo dot protected areas board

Department of Tourism Sec. Christina Frasco — file photo / Ryan Leagogo

Following the recent controversy over the development of a resort at the foot of Chocolate Hills in Sagbayan town in Bohol, the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday said it would push for the agency’s inclusion in the national government’s Protected Area Management Board (PAMB).

”On the national level, since PAMB is a creation of law and DOT is not a part of PAMB, we are lobbying for legislation to amend its composition to include the DOT so it may give its insights and guidance on sustainable tourism development for protected areas,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said on Thursday during a meeting with Bohol provincial officials.


According to Republic Act No. 11038, or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act, PAMB is composed of nongovernmental organizations, local governments, and officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Science and Technology, Philippine National Police and Department of National Defense.


READ: DILG task force digs into how Chocolate Hills resort was built

If included in the board, Frasco said the DOT could provide inputs on the protection and preservation of the country’s protected areas, particularly in tourism destinations like Bohol, which is the country’s first-ever Global Geopark recognized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

“As we leave the investigations and regulatory movements to both the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the DENR, we felt that it was incumbent upon us in the Department of Tourism to reach out to you to let you know that our partnership for tourism shall continue,” Frasco told Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado.

Aumentado, for his part, said that the Bohol government would establish a new committee tasked to oversee and review guidelines on matters related to investments and initiatives that would not compromise the environment and protected areas.

In its statement, the DOT said that the controversial Captain’s Peak Resort was not accredited by the department and did not have a pending application for the same.

Following the closure of the establishment, Frasco said the DOT would offer alternative livelihood training programs and tour guiding kits for the affected workers.

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TAGS: DoT, protected areas, Tourism

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