Gov. Edgar Chatto congratulated new Department of Tourism (DOT) Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on her “well-deserved” appointment to the agency recently rocked by a P60-million advertising scandal.
The governor expressed confidence in the fresh power face of Philippine tourism, telling Puyat that “with you at the helm of the DOT, I am sure you can breathe more life to the Tourism Act.”
Chatto was referring the law to the National Tourism Act or Republic Act 9593, which he, as then congressman, and Sen. Richard Gordon crafted in 2009.
He said the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), both created under that law, need guidance and stronger push by the new secretary.
Close assessment of Duty Free operations is also necessary, the governor said.
A former congressional tourism committee chairman, Chatto said Puyat heading the DOT is “good for Bohol and the country” as he cited her to be “workaholic and focused.”
“You are tailor-fit for the job,” a straight and candid Chatto told Puyat, who is an agriculture undersecretary before her challenging DOT job.
The governor congratulated the new tourism secretary through text message.
Chatto said farm tourism is a very promising industry niche that can decongest the coastal areas, which capacities are often prone to over-carry.
Meanwhile, Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) Lucas Nunag, Jr. expressed worry over the prevailing accommodation facilities as he revealed the unprecedented upsurge of tourist arrivals.
Nunag, however, took the big positive effect here of Boracay’s shutdown as a “good exercise” for Bohol tourism.
Bohol tourism is preparing for a much-anticipated boom attributed to the operation of the Bohol-Panglao international airport starting August-September, this year.
Chatto said to Puyat that bed-and-breakfast facilities in DOT-accredited homes can be supported to cushion the impact of lack of rooms, especially in the wake of the Boracay closure.
New large-scale investments are set to add thousands of resort and hotel rooms on Panglao island alone.
In his text message, Chatto also told Puyat he “missed” her in Bohol as the governor recounted their last meeting during a wedding here.
Replacing resigned DOT Sec. Corazon Wanda Tulfo-Teo, the new secretary is a daughter of former Finance Sec. Alberto Romulo, now chair of the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Teo, along with her media brothers, Ben and Erwin Tulfo, figured in a P60-million advertisement ”scandal” as exposed by the Commission on Audit (COA). (Ven rebo Arigo)