Press Release
March 17, 2016


Independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero urged local government units (LGUs) to check the emergency preparedness of resorts and tour operators in their localities ahead of the anticipated deluge of tourists in the provinces during the Holy Week.

Escudero said LGUs should ensure that hotel and resorts are equipped with rescue facilities and their personnel are trained with basic life support to handle emergency cases and keep both local and foreign visitors safe.

"Apart from our world-renowned hospitality, we have to make our visitors feel that they are safe during their stay," said Escudero, the top pick for vice president in various pre-election surveys.

According to Escudero, the local tourism offices should inspect the crisis management capability of resorts and tourist destinations to prevent a repeat of incidents where tourists were killed because resort staff and tour guides were unable to respond due to lack of training in handling emergencies.

Last year, a local tourist was reported to have died of poisoning after stepping on a sea urchin while snorkeling in Coron, Palawan. A companion of the victim reportedly rued the alleged lack of knowledge and preparedness in first aid and emergency response of the local tour guides.

Escudero said the incident exposed the vulnerabilities of tour guides and local tourism authorities to handle emergency situations.

"A disaster can happen anytime so we have to ensure that our tourism frontliners and local resorts have basic life support skills for the safety of tourists," the veteran lawmaker said.

The veteran lawmaker also encouraged LGUs to institute more stringent certification guidelines to make sure that tour operators and guides are complying with the requirements of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and local tourism offices.

According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the tourism industry continues to grow in the Philippines with the country generating earnings amounting to P227.62 billion from 5.36 million travellers last year.

DOT said the amount is 5.92 percent higher than the 2014 earnings of P214.88 billion.

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