Barangay authorities as tourism promoters? Why not?

CITING the importance of the role of barangays in promoting tourism in Manila, Mayor Honey Lacuna, joined by Vice Mayor Yul Servo, recently led the launching of the Barangay Tourism Officers Orientation Seminar at the San Andres Sports Complex.

Themed, “Turismo at Barangayan Tungo sa Maringal na Maynila,” the said activity was also attended by other local and national government officials, among them Councilor Lou Veloso, Manila’s tourism chief Charlie Dungo and particularly, those who have been tasked to head the Barangay Tourism Committee.

The orientation came as an offshoot of an ordinance mandating all the barangays within the city of Manila to create their respective barangay tourism committees.  The said ordinance was authored by Liga ng mga Barangay President and Councilor Dr. Lei Lacuna and was unanimously passed by the Manila City Council under Presiding Officer Servo.

Owing to the purpose of the ordinance which is to encourage tourists and investors to flock to Manila, Lacuna was just as quick to sign the measure into a local law.

Citing the importance of tourism in the economy, Mayor Honey said the local government is embarking on every possible project to showcase what the city has to offer in terms of beautiful attractions and keeping age-old traditions, history, culture and the arts alive.

She called on barangay leaders to use the opportunity to create more awareness among Manilans and for them to know the history of the city where they are residing.

The lady mayor expressed belief that barangays play a huge role in promoting the tourism industry of any town or city.

This is true, especially since those running the barangays know best their respective areas of jurisdiction or communities where they belong. 

The barangay authorities are also equipped with the right and sufficient information regarding what their area can develop or offer in terms of tourism.

They are also the ones who know by heart the rich history and culture of the barangays they run, including the talents of the residents living there. 

It is also they, through their daily interaction with community members who know who among those in their areas of jurisdiction have the potential to contribute to the barangay’s progress and tourism which, eventually, will redound to the benefit of the city.

The ordinance will empower the barangays to use the unique features of their areas of jurisdiction to their advantage and ultimately, the city’s.

The lady mayor, no less, cited as examples certain features of a place that draw the interest of ordinary people.

It could be a simple carinderia offering the best version of certain kinds of cooking, an old house that has a unique history, rituals, or traditions which can only be witnessed in that barangay, or anything, place, person or occasion that could be a destination for visitors or tourists, both domestic and foreign.

Under the ordinance, in places already on the city’s tourism map, the barangays under which they fall will be tasked with helping the city government maintain beauty and orderliness to ensure that future generations will also benefit from that certain tourist spot.

Mayor Honey assured the 896 barangays in Manila that the city government’s tourism department under the stewardship of Charlie Dungo, will aptly guide the barangay authorities to become efficient barangay tourism officers.

This, she said is the start of a deeper bond between the city government and barangays, for the common goal of making Manila a top tourist destination in the country, stressing that by working together, nothing is impossible.

I think this is another first, with no less than Manila as the capital city of the Philippines leading the way.

If other cities follow suit, the country is in for having more tourist destinations, this would spell progress for the nation in general.


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