Press Release
March 7, 2019


Sen. Grace Poe is proposing a new way for tour guides to become accredited to help boost tourism and further lift the economy.

In a visit to La Union and Baguio City on Thursday, March 7, Poe pitched that the state-run Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) could offer "free training courses" for tour guides amid a vibrant tourism industry.

"Ang TESDA puwedeng magbigay ng free trainings para sa mga interesadong maging tour guides imbes na sila pa ang magbabayad," said Poe in a radio interview.

Poe brought her campaign to the surfing capital of the north and the summer capital.

The Department of Tourism reported that there were 3.7 million foreign visitors who entered the Philippines during the first half of 2018, an increase of 10 percent compared with the same period in 2017.

Furthermore, 60 million Filipinos visited domestic destinations as of 2017.

Increased tourism activity also results in direct and indirect returns in terms of job creation, higher revenues for businesses and larger state revenues, Poe said, that is why tour guides play an important role in presenting the country to visitors.

"Importante na mayroon tayong magagaling na tour guides para ipakilala ang mga magagandang lugar ng Pilipinas sa buong mundo... Ito'y isang sektor na dapat huwag makalimutan ng gobyerno dahil makakatulong sila sa turismo at kikita pa tayong lahat," Poe added.

Poe, who filed Senate Resolution No. 1025 urging various Senate committees to review the implementation of Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009, said that while some local governments shoulder expenses for the tour guides' trainings, others have to shell out money just to get accredited.

"RA 9593 is a relatively young law and it must be reviewed and re-assessed, including its implementation, not just to ensure a vibrant and thriving tourism in the Philippines but to likewise ensure that our local tour guides and various staff and personnel of tourism enterprises are not being prejudiced by numerous fees and other reported wrongful practices in the workplace," Poe said in filing the resolution.

Meanwhile, Poe attended a student forum at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-San Fernando campus where she promised on getting funding for the upgrade of the university library.

"Importante rin ang teknolohiya kaya dapat mayroong computer na naka-connect sa iba't ibang libraries so you can access the different collections of different libraries as well," Poe said.

"Dapat mayroon ding modernization program para mabigyan ng pondo ang state universities and colleges para sa libraries...where you can study freely, safely and comfortably," Poe added.

She then proceeded to Baguio in Benguet province where she visited the Baguio City Public Market and talked to the vendors.

Asked what inspires her to continue with her market visits, Poe said: "Kung gusto natin maabot ang mga tao galing sa iba't ibang lugar, ito ang pinakamadali dahil diretso mong makakadaupang palad ang ating mga kababayan."

Poe said Baguio's market was also reminiscent of her childhood.

"Nung bata ako, naalala ko, dito ako dinadala ng nanay ko para bumili ng pasalubong," Poe shared, "Pagkakataon na rin na bumili ng mga produktong galing dito. 'Yung mga anak ko at 'yung nanay ko hinihintay na kung anong pasalubong ang dadalhin ko para sa kanila."

She capped her Baguio sortie with a dialogue with local officials and meeting with transport leaders.

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