Vice-Governor Almonte’s Solidarity Message: Public Hearing on the Tourism Code of Misamis Occidental

My respect to the Honorable Provincial Governor Herminia Ramiro,  the Committee on Tourism, Archeology, Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, ably chaired by the Hon. Gerard Hilarion Ramiro,  so with the Vice-Chair, Hon. Emeterio Roa, Sr., the able members, Hon. Zaldy Daminar,  Hon. Tito Decina and the Hon.  Dodge Cabahug, Sr., the very dynamic Members of the Technical Working Group in the drafting of the Tourism Code of Misamis Occidental who are also our resource persons today. The Chairpersons of the respective Committees on Tourism of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and Sangguniang Bayan in our Province, our Tourism Officers, representatives of the  NGOs,  POs and CSOs, guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning!

Before anything else, I believe it is worth mentioning that this public hearing on the Proposed Ordinance Enacting the Tourism Code of Misamis Occidental  is the fifth public hearing conducted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Misamis Occidental through its standing committees since its assumption of office last July 2016, that is barely nine months. Just to recap, this Sanggunian, on top of other legislative measures, had enacted the Drug-Free Workplace Ordinance, the harmonized IBAMO Fisheries Code, the Ordinance granting additional 15% privilege for the Senior citizens on their water and electric consumption, and the Ordinance setting the rates for the use of the Misamis Occidental Provincial Athletic Complex. This in itself is a badge that we have a working Sanggunian.  And  so, here we are again, in order to submit a very vital piece of legislation, the Tourism Code of Misamis Occidental, to all stakeholders, and, I want to congratulate the  Committee on Tourism, Archeology, Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, chaired by the Hon. Gerard Hilarion Ramiro for this initiative.

The tourism industry in our country has long been a factor in sustaining our economy, though it made substantial advancement only in 2015 because of social media. Now it has become a very significant sector in our economy. It is in this context that we endeavor to factor in the Province of Misamis Occidental. We have a great potential in ecotourism because our Province is blessed with so much God-Given  exotic flora and fauna,  bountiful life-sustaining resources and beautiful natural sceneries of  Mt. Malindang, of the rich coastal,  marine, and other natural resources.  We have so much to offer to our tourists without the need to spend huge amount of investment because of our splendid natural environment and rich culture, especially of our traditional settlements which are very attractive to tourists. For sure, we will face many challenges as we embark and develop our tourism industry. Challenges relating to infrastructure, and even the greater challenges in  protecting and preserving  the environment in establishing this industry.  While we rise to the call of development, but at the same time we are also called to assume great responsibilities for environment protection. Responsibilities which we cannot afford to overlook.  It is in this perspective that I am very grateful of your presence today so that you could air your concerns and share your ideas. We are in this together!

At this point, I also would like to express my gratitude for the full support of our beloved Lady Governor. This is an enormous  undertaking which we cannot do without your support, Ma’am Hermie. Thank you very much for being there always!

To all those who are present today, may this public hearing be fruitful as we freely exchange our ideas  in a healthy/ and friendly manner, all for the love of our Province and our people.



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