"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The Tourism Act of 2008 aims to create thousands of job opportunities for Filipinos all over the country, said Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism.

“The Tourism bill aims, among other things, to provide our people with much-needed job opportunities here in our country, so that they do not have to leave their families behind and languish in foreign lands in search of greener pasture. It seeks to bestow upon our people the dignity that comes with being able to earn a decent living to put food on the table,” said Gordon.

To make this possible, Gordon believed that the country needs to have fundamental reforms in the tourism sector. These reforms are at the heart of the Tourism Act of 2008, namely: (1) to regulate and uplift the standard of tourism services, (2) to strengthen promotional capability of our tourism industry, (3) to create infrastructure such as hotel development and beaches, (4) to encourage private sector participation, (5) to ensure and focus a cooperative approach among various agencies and institutions, and (6) to ensure competitiveness and increase market share.

‘We must remember that tourism is a global business and tourism must be the business of the entire country because it will create jobs and increase the people’s purchasing power,” Gordon explained.

He added that, with the faithful implementation of the Tourism Act of 2008, the country can have a better institution to regulate and promote tourism and install the necessary infrastructure to make our country truly world-class.

“We can have more jobs for our people, who will no longer have to search for their future in foreign shores, but right here in their native Filipinas,” he noted.

Gordon, who authored Senate Bill 2213, also envisions more job opportunities for Filipinos as more tourists arrive in the country. He noted that “every tourist that comes in means one more person with real money that can buy our goods.”

“Tourism means jobs for the Filipino people. The industry has an immense impact on the economy. Every foreign tourist spends 50,000 pesos in shopping, eating, touring and staying at resorts. On an average year, 2.6 million foreign tourists give our economy a billion pesos and that billion pesos generate jobs across the board, from the ordinary street vendor, to waiters, to the hotel bell boy,” said Gordon.

The Senator also said that tourism is the largest industry in the world, with approximately 800 million tourists a year, collectively spending hundreds of billions of dollars. It is the key to lifting our people out of their poverty.

“If we focus on tourism, we will generate jobs and opportunities for all. For every tourist that comes in, there will be one more person to take a cab from the airport, take his meals at a restaurant during the day and drink our beer at the bars at night, check into a hotel, go to the beach and pay for a massage on our white sand and buy bead bracelets and necklaces, go diving or hike through our forests, paying for guides and equipment along the way, shop at our malls to buy our shirts and our shoes. These directly translate to various job opportunities for the Filipinos,” said Gordon.

The Tourism Act of 2008 was originally presented to the Senate in December of 2005. Unfortunately, the measure was not passed on third reading in the House of Representatives before the close of the Thirteenth Congress, despite strong lobby from the Tourism industry private sector and the diligence and persistence that the members of the Senate demonstrated in completing their tasks and passing Senate Bill No. 2138.