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Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Bobby Lim Joseph
Date: 2003-01-03
Cebu can be at par with other international hotspots if only we will utilize Cebu’s period earnings for its tourism development.

Although the capital city is normally the first tourist destination in mind, Philippines’ Cebu can also be the next “flocking nest” of tourists.

Also known as the Occidental gateway to the Orient, Cebu is a popular entry point among Asian merchants.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) services regular and chartered flights en route Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. It is also the jump-off point to Visayas and Mindanao destinations where in provinces like Leyte, Samar, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin and Surigao del Norte can be easily traveled.

Cebu’s safety and security is ensured by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Tourism (DoT) with assistance from resorts, hotels and other tourist establishments.

But with the emerging trend of tourism development worldwide, Cebu should struggle against other international tourist destinations.

The national government should consider making the most of Cebu’s period earnings for its tourism development.

Consultations between the national government and the Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) should enforce a special law so that tax collections from Cebu will no longer be remitted to the national government, instead, utilized to boost its tourism industry by developing infrastructure such as light rails, roads, bridges; public utilities such as power and water supplies; environment protection, proper waste management system and implementation of zoning.

Consequently, the municipal government may issue bonds as a guarantee for the amount that may be loaned for Cebu’s tourism projects.

Bringing incentives and speeding up trade and commerce should increase this momentum of aggressively expanding facilities and improving amenities to attract more tourists in Cebu.

Furthermore, the Philippine civil aviation should partner with foreign airlines in developing MCIA to aide the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in accommodating the expected influx of tourists brought about by the promotions of Visit Philippines 2003.

A separate committee should oversee the proper implementation of this proposed plan.

Let us leap frog the development of Philippine tourism. Speeding up the development of Cebu as one of the tourism hubs can fast track the Philippine tourism industry and the success of Visit Philippines 2003.


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