The Department of Tourism (DOT) has formally installed the former tourism executive of the Province of Aurora as the new regional tourism director of Region IV-A CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon).
Casiguran, Aurora-born Michael Angara Palispis, was behind the successful tourism industry in Baler town, which made the place as the birthplace of Philippine surfing.
“I always believe that Region IV-A can become a powerhouse tourism destination,” Palispis said during his sworn in occasion with tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat held online on Friday, July 10.
The regional office in Calamba City, Laguna was formerly headed by the youngest tourism director Jeff Ortega, from the century-old political clan in La Union province, who was later transferred to DOT Region I office. The position was later handled by Marites Castro as the region’s DOT officer-in-charge (OIC).
Palispis said CALABARZON has many similarities with the former Southern Tagalog province Aurora, which he worked hard to be a premier eco-tourism and adventure tourism destination in Central Luzon.
With the region’s natural offerings, from its landscape, history, and culture, he stressed that he will replicate in Region IV-A how he positioned Central Luzon during his term as president of Association of Tourism Officer of Central Luzon (ATOCEL), which he held for six uninterrupted years.
He said he will also fast-track Puyat’s tall order which is the DOT accreditation of tourism enterprises as the industry begins its gradual reopening of domestic tourism despite the COVID-19 situation in the country.
“Our tourism chief can rest assured that Region IV-A will deliver. The goal is to process and release all pending applications for accreditation, including serving certificates of authority to operate to accommodation and tourism establishments across the Southern Tagalog region,” he added.
He said he also wants to start organizing CALABARZON’s tourist destinations into clusters based on their available resources and products, committing to develop them to their maximum potentials.
With its proximity to Metro Manila, CALABARZON has actually gained the reputation as the popular weekend getaway for tourists. The region offers a wide range of tourist experiences, such as visiting heritage sites and beaches in Laguna and Batangas, dining at restaurants with overlooking views in Tagaytay City in Cavite, hiking at the mountainous portions Rizal, among others.
The new tourism regional head also recognized the challenges of handling the position at the height of the crisis.
“This is a very challenging time for the tourism industry, indeed. But with the support of the very resilient stakeholders and with the stewardship of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, I am confident that we will rise and bounce back stronger and better,” he said.