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Ex-Butuan lawmaker Plaza eyes DOT seat

/ 05:12 AM June 13, 2016
Former Butuan City Rep. Charito B. Plaza.  (Photo from website of the PDP-Laban, www.pdplaban.com)

Former Butuan City Rep. Charito B. Plaza. (Photo from website of the PDP-Laban, www.pdplaban.com)

BUTUAN CITY — Former Butuan City Representative Charito “Ching” Plaza wants to be secretary of the Department of Tourism.

The former three-term lawmaker of this city, who holds a doctorate degree in peace and security administration, submitted last week her credentials to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte expressing her strong desire to head the department.

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In her letter to Duterte, Plaza, vice president of PDP-Laban for Mindanao, cited her rich experience in this field being the chairperson on the Committee on Tourism in the 8th, 9th and 10th Congress.

“With my long experience in the tourism industry, I have developed my own vision of what, where and how to improve, change and fully develop this field to attain the overall progress of our people’s lives,” Plaza said in a statement.

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Duterte has yet to name a tourism secretary, a post that will be left vacant when Ramon Jimenez relinquishes it on June 30when the six-year term of President Aquino ends.

Plaza, the widow of the long-time Butuan City mayor Figurado Plaza, has been actively engaged in many initiatives, the most significant of which was her being the principal author of Republic Act 7901 or the law creating the Caraga region, which has significantly boosted the tourism industry in this part of the country.

The creation of Caraga in 1995 has made a big impact in drawing wide interest from local and foreign tourists on the Balanghai Shrine where centuries-old Balanghai boats have been preserved.  The preservation of the boats was pursued following its declaration as a national cultural treasure on March 9, 1987 by then President Corazon Aquino.

The shrine, located in Barangay Masao, some five kilometers from the city, is believed to be where Magellan landed and first set foot in the Philippines.

“Being well-traveled worldwide, I have seen how tourist destinations were fully developed and progressed in many countries and I am morally charged to heed a shared responsibility to use my abilities for the betterment of our country through the tourism industry,” noted Plaza in her letter to Duterte. The Philippine Daily Inquirer obtained a copy of the letter.

She said her long stint in legislative work taught her to lobby for budget support and other resources needed for the much-needed promotion of the tourism industry.

She also believed her background in peace and security would give her an edge to ensure that foreign businesses interested to invest in the tourism industry in the country would be assured of peace and order and safety and political stability.  SFM

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TAGS: Agusan del Sur, Balanghai boats, Balanghai Shrine, Butuan City, Caraga Region, Charito "Ching" Plaza, Corazon C. Aquino, Department of Tourism, Duterte cabinet, Figurado Plaza, government appointments, Nation, news, PDP-Laban, Philippine Government, Philippine president, Politics, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, Regions, Republic Act 7901, Rodrigo Duterte, Tourism
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