Traders want Eastern Visayas tourism regional chief to stay | Inquirer News

Traders want Eastern Visayas tourism regional chief to stay

TACLOBAN CITY—-A business chamber has urged Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo to reconsider her decision to transfer a top official of the Department of Tourism in Eastern Visayas (DOT-8) to Zamboanga Peninsula since the move could stall the full restoration of the tourism industry of the region.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Leyte-Tacloban chapter said in a resolution dated January 8, that Karina Rosa Tiopes should stay as DOT-8 director to continue to implement the vital plans and programs of the department.

“These abrupt changes in the leadership of the Department’s regional offices could stall the momentum of the private and public stakeholders’ collaboration to fully restore and develop the full potentials of tourism sites in Eastern Visayas,” it said.


The group said that the “leadership” of Tiopes in DOT-8 was being considered by the local business community as “imperative” to the execution of the regional tourism roadmap.


Tiopes, who had yet to report to her new assignment, said that while she was a total stranger to the new assignment, she would take this as a challenge.

In an order dated Jan. 4, Tiopes was transferred to Zamboanga Peninsula “effective immediately,” from Eastern Visayas where she had been the DOT director since 2005.

Tiopes was among 28 tourism officials affected by the reshuffling implemented by Teo.

The move was considered “unprecedented” since the DOT had not undertaken any reorganization involving regional directors.

But during last week’s meeting with local officials and business and community leaders on Boracay Island, Teo explained that the reshuffle was meant to avoid too much familiarity of the officials with their areas of assignment.

“If you are familiar, you become complacent (and) you are no longer innovative. If we move you to another place, this could also be a promotion because I would see your potential,” she explained.


Teo stressed that assigning the officials to new posts was not due to poor performance.

“They have been doing well already so I have to transfer them to another place because there are areas that are not moving,” she said.

Sources in the tourism industry said the DOT should not be likened to other agencies where regular changes in regional directors are necessary.

Familiarity to the region is essential for DOT regional directors, they said.

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The reshuffling also caught by surprise many of the those affected, according to the sources.

TAGS: reshuffling, Tourism

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