TOURISM HUB. The city government of Isabela, the capital of Basilan province, launches on Thursday (Sept. 2, 2021) the "HAPIsabela Tourism Assistance Center" as part of its program to boost the local tourism industry. The launch of the center was led by Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman (3rd from left) and Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderossa-Abubakar (2nd from right). (Photo courtesy of the DOT regional office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Tourism (DOT) has released some PHP4.4 million to Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province, to boost its tourism industry.

DOT Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar, in a statement Saturday, said the grant is for Isabela City’s project Tourism Short Courses as Opportunities for People Empowerment (TSCOPE)

Claudio Ramos II, Isabela City tourism officer, said the TSCOPE is a series of capacity development for all tourism stakeholders affected by the health pandemic.

Ramos said the training will advance existing competencies and open new interests to better and advance sustainable tourism and inclusive employment for all.

Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman launched on Thursday the "HAPIsabela Tourism Assistance Center" in the presence of Abubakar and DOT OIC-regional director Wenceslao Galeza Jr.

The HAPIsabela Tourism Assistance Center will be the focal building for tourism information, bookings and guests' tourism requirements.

It will also serve as the area for souvenirs and other locally made products, which are truly #TatakHAPIsabela!

Hataman highlighted the efforts of the city government in improving the lives of many who are dependent on the tourism industry and those whose lives are connected with tourism.

She also thanked the DOT for its support to the “Happy City of Isabela de Basilan.”

Abubakar, the granddaughter of the late mayor Nicasio Valderrosa, the city's first mayor, expressed her gladness and joy to be back in the now province of Basilan.

She also vowed to remain supportive of the city's tourism endeavors.

The launch of the HAPIsabela Tourism Assistance Center is one of the highlights of the World Tourism Month 2021 Celebration this September. (PNA)