Incoming Tourism Chief Christina Garcia-Frasco’s vision and goal are to make the country’s tourism industry “a major pillar” for economic recovery and resiliency.
“I look forward to giving truth to President-elect Bongbong Marcos’ vision for the tourism industry to become a major pillar for economic recovery and resilience,” she said at the DOT Central Office in Makati.
Frasco added that she also looks forward to not only bringing back the Philippines to its standing on the global stage but also uplifting the country to its “full potential to occupy a primary position globally—that is the birthright of every Filipino.”
Before her role as the new Secretary of Tourism, Frasco served as the Mayor of Liloan, Cebu, since June 2016. She was also a multi-awarded local chief executive and rated as the Top Performing Mayor in Central Visayas in the same year.
Under Frasco’s leadership, the Municipality of Liloan became a four-time recipient of an “Unqualified Opinion,” the highest audit rating given by the Commission on Audit (CoA).
The incoming Secretary also shared her initial strategies for her term. One is employing a multidimensional approach to tourism, where the focus for development is not only on natural resources but also on the promotion of people and products, as well as a strong national and local government collaboration.
“It is this inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and collaborative tourism governance that I intend to bring to the Department of Tourism,” Frasco explained.
“We have a general vision that is set by our President to revitalize the tourism industry, and to ensure that it is inclusive in that we spread development to the countryside. And this means giving focus to all regions in the Philippines,” Frasco enthused.
Furthermore, she admits that she considers her home province special but assured stakeholders that other destinations, particularly Mindanao, will be developed and promoted as tourism destinations.
“I intend to be judged not by my words but by my work. And we will work hard to help Mindanao rise to its full potential,” added Frasco.
In terms of changes to the industry amid the rising COVID-19 cases, Frasco commits to working towards striking a balance between the lives and the livelihood of Filipinos, going back to her experience as a local leader in Cebu.
“When people lose their livelihoods and are left hungry and without opportunities for income they may lose their lives as well,” explained the incoming tourism chief.
Moreover, Frasco noted the need to examine whether there should be a liberalization of existing health and safety protocols to revitalize the tourism industry, citing the recent move of Singapore and other neighbouring countries to lift the mask mandate for outdoor areas.
“I only wish to bring to the attention of the necessary decision makers, the necessity of balancing life and livelihood and examining closely the health and safety protocols that will serve best the preservation of not just life but also the economy and the how best we can proceed that can promote and not further derail the tourism destinations within our country.”