Press Release
December 16, 2008

Gordon enlists LGUs' support to Tourism Bill's passage

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today enlisted the support of various local government units (LGUs) which he claimed would greatly reap the benefits of the Tourism Bill once President Arroyo signs it into law.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on tourism, made the call even as the Senate-House bicameral conference committee reset deliberations into the conflicting versions of the Tourism Bill of 2008 early next year.

"We are close to the final stage of having the Tourism Bill passed into law and we need all the support we can get, especially from the LGUs, to have this done," he said.

Gordon said the LGUs should take advantage of this proposed tourism measure since it provides for the establishment of tourism enterprise zones across the country, thereby boosting domestic tourism.

He added that a boost in tourism would mean that more jobs would be generated and would result to an increase not only in the employment rate but also in the revenues of LGUs.

Gordon, a former tourism secretary, explained that LGUs would take a major role in developing these zones, which would be established to entice foreign investors and tourists to visit places rich with history and culture.

The bill also aims to enhance the capabilities of LGUs in administering tourism activities and enforcing tourism laws through support and training programs from the Tourism Department.

"Once we establish these tourism enterprise zones, the local governments would have a big role in its development. And not only that, they would also be the ultimate beneficiaries of this program because it will not only boost local tourism, but will also increase their revenues," Gordon said.

"The key to a successful implementation of this measure is through a concerted effort between the national government and the LGUs," he added.

Gordon said the targets for the tourism enterprise zones are Cebu, Davao, Bohol, Laguna, Cavite, Boracay, Palawan and Iloilo, which could be developed into a haven for tourists.

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