By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Tourism has approved a bill seeking the placement of heritage markers in all tourist spots to further promote tourism in the country.
The panel, chaired by Davao Oriental Rep. Corazon Nunez-Malanyaon passed House Bill 6646 or the proposed “National Tourism Heritage Act of 2017” principally authored by 1-Ang Edukasyon partylist Rep. Salvador Belaro.
Belaro cited the need for the government to promote a tourism industry “that is ecologically sustainable, responsible, participative, culturally sensitive, and economically viable.”
“Aside from the lack of appropriate infrastructures, specifically good roads and bridges leading to tourist destinations, the lack of recognition and support from the government is also one of the drawbacks that hinder tourism development in the country,” he said.
House Bill 6646 provides that the heritage markers shall be installed in conspicuous places and shall contain a brief description of the tourism sites.
Such tourism heritage markers may include the construction of suitable waiting sheds, gazebos, and other facilities where promotion materials can be placed, it said.
The bill tasks the Department of Tourism (DoT) to ensure the identification and placement of markers in all tourism sites in the country.
HB 6646 allocates an initial funding of P100 million to carry out the provision of the proposed Act. The funding shall be included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the year following the bill’s enactment into law and thereafter.
The DoT, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), is mandated to formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.