Press Release
April 21, 2013

Cayetano: It's more fun in Bohol

Senator Alan Cayetano wants Bohol to overtake Boracay and catch up with Cebu in terms of number of tourists.

In his Listening Tour discussion with tourist operators and hotel owners today, Cayetano expressed all out support for Bohol tourism. "Today you have less than 500,000 tourists. I hope that when I come back after the elections, you will already have over 1 million tourists because more tourists means more jobs and better income," he said.

Cayetano gave the example of the Boracay Newcoast Resort now being built in Boracay that will employ over 3,000 locals just for its development alone. "Imagine the number of jobs that could be generated if we could have that kind of development for tourism here in Bohol," he said.

To further express support, Cayetano reiterated his call to the government to grant small and business enterprises (SMEs), in this case tourism operators, better access to capital. "The government could use the model of the existing Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to enact a capital-lending scheme to enable beneficiaries to set up their own businesses," he said.

Cayetano also said that the local government could tap existing cooperatives to act out this proposal. "The idea is to have SME owners go to the government for capital instead of resorting to loan sharks or 5-6 operators that charge exorbitant interest rates of up to 20 percent," he said. Sustainable development

Cayetano stressed, however, that he wants Bohol to learn from the lessons of Boracay and make sure that the developments for tourism are sustainable.

"The local government should make sure that the environment is preserved and that local fishermen are not affected by the influx of tourists," he explained. "We want to ensure that the benefit of jobs and increase in income for local families is something that can be sustained as well."

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