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Barangays as tourism promoters being pushed in Manila

Orientation for barangay tourism officers
Mayor Honey Lacuna during the launching of the orientation for barangay tourism officers. With her in photo are (from left) Councilor Lou Veloso, Vice Mayor Yul Servo and (right) tourism chief Charlie Dungo, among others. (JERRY S. TAN)

MAYOR Honey Lacuna cited the importance of barangays in promoting tourism in the city of Manila.

Joined by Vice Mayor Yul Servo and Liga ng Barangay President and Councilor Lei Lacuna, the mayor led the launching of the Barangay Tourism Officers Orientation-Seminar at the San Andres Sports Complex.

Themed, “Turismo at Barangayan Tungo sa Maringal na Maynila,” the said activity was also attended by other local and national government officials, among them Councilor Lou Veloso, Manila’s tourism chief Charlie Dungo and particularly, those who have been tasked to head the Barangay Tourism Committee.

Mayor Honey said the orientation is an offshoot of an ordinance mandating all the barangays within the city of Manila to create their respective barangay tourism committees which was authored by Councilor Lacuna and passed by the Manila City Council under Presiding Officer Servo.

Owing to the purpose of the ordinance which is to encourage tourists and investors to flock to Manila, Lacuna said she immediately signed the measure into a local law.

Citing the importance of tourism in the economy, Mayor Honey said the local government is embarking on every possible project to showcase what the city has to offer in terms of beautiful attractions and keeping alive age-old traditions, history, culture and the arts.

She called on barangay leaders to use the opportunity to create more awareness among Manilans and for them to know the history of the city where they are residing.

“Malaki ang paniniwala ko sa magiging tulong ng barangay sa pagsulong ng ating industriya ng turismo. Mas kabisado ninyo ang inyong komunidad. Higit ang inyong kaalaman sa mga kayamanang sining at makulay na kasaysayan ng inyong mga barangay. Batid ninyo ang talento ng inyong mga nasasakupan. Sa inyong palagiang pakikisalamuha sa inyong mga kabrangay, marami kayong matutuklasan na may potensyal sa pagpapa-unlad at pagpapasigla ng turismo sa inyong mga lugar,” the mayor said.

The ordinance, she said, will empower the barangays to use the unique features of their areas of jurisdiction to their advantage and ultimately, the city’s.

“Ang isang simpleng karinderya na pinupuntahan ng mga tao, mga lumang bahay na taglay pa din ang kanyang kagandahan, mga ritwal o tradisyon na sa inyo lamang barangay ginagawa, anomang bagay, lugar, tao, pagdiriwang, ang lahat ng ito ay posibleng maging destinasyon ng mga turistang lokal man o dayuhan,” she explained.

“Sa mga lugar na nasasakupan ng inyong mga barangay na dati nang dinarayo, magiging bahagi na rin kayo ng pagpapanatili ng kagandahan at kaayusan niyon upang siguraduhin na ito ay mapapakinabangan din ng mga darating pang mga henerasyon,” the mayor added.

She assured that the city government, through the Department of Tourism, Culture and the Arts -Manila or DTCAM under the stewardship of Charlie Dungo, will aptly guide the barangay authorities to become efficient barangay tourism officers.

This, she said, is the start of a deeper bond between the city government and barangays for the common goal of making Manila a top tourist destination in the country, stressing that by working together, nothing is impossible.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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