MANILA -- The chairperson of the House Committee on Tourism on Monday announced the launch of a video blog (vlog) called Congressional Tour (CONG-TOUR) in a bid to promote tourism in the Philippines.
In a privilege speech during plenary session, Laguna Representative Sol Aragones, committee chair, said CONG-TOUR will show the congressmen's active involvement in the promotion of tourism in their districts, aside from fulfilling their lawmaking functions.
Aragones highlighted the positive impact of a booming tourism to the standard of living of the locals as it expands their job opportunities.
She cited Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showing that tourism accounts for a 13 percent share of job sources in the Philippines, or roughly 5.4 million jobs.
She added that the tourism sector contributed 12.7 percent in the country’s economy, or PHP2.2 trillion in 2018.
Data from PSA shows that in 2018, domestic tourism expenditure amounted to PHP3.2 trillion while inbound tourism expenditure amounted to only PHP441.4 billion. Local and international tourists spent almost 4 trillion in 2018.
She, however, noted that in the total amounts spent by tourists in the country, only 12 percent comes from foreign tourists, while 88 percent comes from domestic tourists.
“Ang solusyon sa ating problema ay wala sa ibang bansa o sa dayuhang banyaga. Para magkaroon ng hanapbuhay, at para lumago ang kabuhayan, kailangan natin ang ating mga sarili. Atin ito. Tayo mismo. Nasa Pilipino ang kailangan ng Pilipinas (The solution to our problem cannot be found in other countries. We should count on ourselves to create jobs and improve our livelihoods. The solution lies in our hands. The Filipinos possess what the country needs)," Aragones said.
The lawmaker also urged Filipinos to appreciate the country's culture.
“Huwag na tayong tumingin sa kung saan pa. Titigan lang natin ang ganda ng ating mga tanawin, ang sarap ng ating mga pagkain, ang yaman ng ating kultura, ang kulit ng ating mga kwento, at ang init ng pagmamahal ng mga pusong Pilipino. Ayos na tayo sa kapwa natin Pilipino (Let's not look elsewhere. Let's just appreciate our beautiful sceneries, sumptuous delicacies, rich culture, fun stories, and the warm hearts of Filipinos),” Aragones added.
Aragones said she will co-host with fellow legislators in the CONG-TOUR vlog as they showcase their most unique food and local delicacies as well as their most popular tourist destinations.
"Kaming mga kongresista kasama kayo ang magiging tour guide sa ating mga kanya-kanyang distrito. Sabay nating ito-tour ang ating mga kababayan sa mga tampok na pagkain at tanawin sa inyong lugar (We, congressmen, will be your tour guide in our respective districts. We will tour Filipinos [through this vlog] that will feature unique delicacies and views in your place)," Aragones added.
Aragones said the vlog can be accessed in CONG-TOUR on YouTube. The first episode can be viewed by clicking the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMHErYPW6XQ&t=12s. (PNA)