The government’s next nominee to head the tourism department said the health measures put in place in her industry should balance the need for security and livelihoods.
Tourism minister-appointed Maria Esperanza Cristina G. Frasco said during her welcoming ceremony at the Department of Tourism in Makati City on Monday that the pandemic has left tourism workers injured due to loss of income when travel was restricted.
“When people lose their livelihoods and are left hungry and deprived of earning opportunities, they can also lose their lives. Therefore, it is very important to find a balance between life and livelihood. Therefore, it is important to (evaluate) existing health and safety protocols and find out if there is a need (to relax them) in the interest of revitalizing the tourism industry,” said Ms Frasco.
“We appreciate all the efforts of the national government to put in place the necessary health and safety protocols to protect life. But at the same time, from our experience in Cebu, we also saw the importance of balancing the protection of life with the protection of livelihoods, because if we continue to allow ourselves to be shackled by the fear of a pandemic, rather than reconsider our perspective, learn how to live with this virus responsibly and with compliance with health protocols, then not only lives will be lost, but also livelihoods, ”she added.
The incidence of COVID-19 has recently increased again. The Department of Health’s weekly bulletin released on Monday indicated that 4,634 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Philippines between June 20 and 26, up 53% from a week earlier.
Ms. Frasco said she will be promoting other sites in the Philippines that are not yet well known to tourists. She did not provide details.
“It is very important for us to continue to capitalize on the competitiveness of our already established tourist sites, while at the same time shed light on sites in the Philippines that have not yet had an equal opportunity to promote and develop products,” said Ms. Frasco.
She said her promotional strategy will be to “focus on our natural resources and on developing and promoting our people and our products.” — Revin Mikhail D. Ochave