Bulacan supports campaign to invite PWDs as tourists

Published May 30, 2018, 2:27 PM

by AJ Siytangco

 

By Freddie Velez

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan –The Department of Tourism (DOT), the National Council in Disability Affairs (NCDA) and the Provincial Government of Bulacan, through the Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PHACTO) conducted a seminar on “Accessible Tourism for Persons with Disabilities” at a resort in this town recently.

The one-day seminar is an advocacy effort which aims primarily to promote the “Tourism for All” policy of the government, a national campaign to provide policy guidelines for stakeholders on accessible tourism as provided for in the government’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) and address the needs of those tourists with and without disabilities.

Employees of a DOT-accredited establishments were trained by experts on how to handle persons with mobility, hearing and visual impairments during a seminar on "Accessible Tourism for Persons with Disabilities held at a resort in Guiguinto, Bulacan recently. (Freddie C. Velez / MANILA BULLETIN)
Employees of DOT-accredited establishments were trained by experts on how to handle persons with mobility, hearing, and visual impairments during a seminar on “Accessible Tourism for Persons with Disabilities held at a resort in Guiguinto, Bulacan recently. (Freddie C. Velez / MANILA BULLETIN)

Under the plan, the government is targeting arrivals of 10 million tourists from foreign countries and 35.5 million domestic tourists for the period 2011-2016.

This initiative is an off-shoot of DOT Memorandum Circular No.2011-14 issued on February 11, 2011, entitled “Adopting the Guidelines on the Grant of Special Discounts to PWDs Pursuant to the Provisions of Republic Act No. 9442.”

The above-mentioned policy requires DOT accredited establishments, such as restaurants, hotels, inns, apartels, pension houses, resorts and similar lodging establishments; tertiary hospitals, ambulatory clinics, spas, sports and recreational clubs/centers, museums, galleries, tourist land and water and air transport operators, to comply with the pertinent provisions of R.A. 9442 entitled “An Act Amending Republic Act No. 7277″ otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons and other purposes.” Failure to comply with the grant of such benefits being stated in the guidelines is a “ground for the review of its accreditation of DOT’s rules and regulations on accreditation without prejudice to said establishment’s liability.”

To support this mandate and to achieve its objectives, front liners in the tourism/business industry, such as hotel and restaurant managers, front desk officers, tourist transport operators, tour guides and other service providers in the DOT-accredited establishments will be provided the knowledge to learn and practice the right ways on how to handle persons with mobility, hearing and visual impairments during the seminar.

Other participants include officials of the national government agencies based in the province that are tasked to implement the tourism industry programs, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer and persons with disabilities, among others.

Distinguished resource persons discussed significant topics covering the key mandates on disability and other disability-related concerns by distinguished resource persons led by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, the host province who gave the keynote address.

The seminar is an offshoot of the DOT policy providing for campaigns conducted since July 2011 in key cities and highly urbanized municipalities of the country that have good tourism venues.

According to Dir. Nelly Nita N. Dillera of DOT-Central Office, “there will be a follow-up PWD-friendly seminar that is more conducive to every establishment’s needs”.

 
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