SAGADA, Mountain Province – The Cordillera office of the Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) conducted an orientation on the accreditation system in Mountain Province on May 30, 2019 in this famous town.
Incumbent and re-elected Sagada mayor James ‘Payko’ Pooten stressed his gratitude to DOT-CAR for bringing the seminar to Sagada. The training expenses are income of the business sector and indirectly the municipal government in terms of revenue from taxes of the business establishments, he said.
Pooten also emphasized the tourism industry brings money to the community, but it also contributes to problems, such as increase of wastes, shortage of water, etc., but he encouraged the trainees to abide with the local regulations and national laws.
Angela Fagutao of DOT-CAR discussed the tourism regional situationer and the progressive accreditation system of tourism enterprises, especially on the requirements and non-monetary benefits.
Among the non-fiscal incentives of accredited tourism establishments include a) the inclusion of company profile to the official DOT websites, b) entitlement to subsidized human resource development seminars, c)endorsement to LTFRB for the grant of certificate of public conveyances for tourist land transport of accredited tourist land transport companies; d) endorsement of tourist infrastructure projects to appropriate government agencies such as BOI or TIEZA for the availment of incentives such as reduction in applicable real estate/income taxes, etc., e) endorsement of accredited tourist land transport companies to Metro Manila Development Authority for exemption of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or the number coding scheme under certain terms and conditions; f) endorsement to LTFRB for the exemption from regular franchising process for accredited accommodation establishments to use a maximum of two shuttle service vehicles dedicated for free use of house guests and customers under certain terms and conditions, g) endorsement to DFA for the grant of accreditation as preferred travel agents servicing passport-seeking clients; h) endorsement to international and domestic airports for issuance of access pass to qualified personnel for operators and accommodation establishments to meet and assist arriving/departing guests, subject to approval of management; i) endorsement of tour operators and tour guides to CHED in regard to engagement of transportation, accommodation and tour guide service to students participating in educational tours and field trips, j) endorsement to COMELEC for exemption from liquor ban during election periods, and k) issuance of ID cards to bonafide employees of accredited establishments.
Gwen Gaongen, of DOT-CAR, presented and discussed some samples of tour packages the tourism stakeholders in the province may adopt or improve.
Margaret Gayudan of the provincial office of Department of Trade and Industry lectured on the city and municipality competitive index, which the tourism industry has a great involvement, while Jennifer Licyayo of provincial office of the Department of Interior and Local Government office discussed the role of local governments in the tourism industry.
Accreditation is a certificate issued by the DOT to a tourism enterprise that officially recognizes it as having complied with the minimum standards for the operation of tourism facilities and services.
This official recognition is open to accommodation establishments, travel and tour agencies, tour guides, restaurants, agri-tourism farms, tourism training centers, spa centers, and other tourism enterprises.
By Francis B. Degay