TAGBILARAN CITY – Senior Provincial Board Member Dionisio D. Balite of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bohol has raised serious concern over the hefty allocation by the present Capitol administration in the amount of Php1 million for the province’s participation in the Asean Tourism Forum to be held at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Manila on January 18-25, 2016, journal of proceedings dated November 20, 2015 of the Sanggunang Panlalawigan showed.
Balite queried “if that amount shall be relegated to private entities/private tourist companies,” adding that “That 1 Million worth of that 72 Square meters space, can it be rented also by private tourism entities,?” the journal said.
As debate ensued, BM Atty. Benjie Arcamo, tourism committee chair, replied that the amount (Php1 million) “is to be shouldered by the Provincial Government.” He said, “I believe that this amount shall be taken out from the 3Million Pesos appropriated in our Annual Budget for the tourism promotions, and so clearly, this amount is from the Provincial Government for that 72 square meters.”
The travel mart, which will be participated by other countries based on Provincial Tourism Office revelation, will have the participation of the private sector. “The private tourism entities which are the resorts, the Bellevue, 6 will participate, and they are the ones who will shoulder the costs of the exhibits, the decorations, the displays and the media briefing,” Arcamo said.
Apparently, the fund will be paid for rent for 12 booths spaces equivalent to 72 sq. meters “to accommodate the private sector sellers who shall be doing B2B with their contracted buyers during the fair. The layout/design, construction, designer’s fee and promotional materials will be taken-cared of by the Bohol province through the participating private sectors.”
“We are only paying for the rental space of the 72 square meters. But these private companies are also paying, like Bellevue and Be Grand Resorts. Accordingly, they are also paying for their own separate booth because they also want to promote their own resort. But this, this is the booth of the provincial government but we are assisting and we are inviting these private companies, Bellevue, Be Grand, South Palms, Blue Waters, Panglao Island Nature Resort, Anda, Danao, Tagbilaran and the Provincial Government to be the ones to display in the booths owned by the Province for this period,” BM Atty. Abeleon Damalerio pitched support to Arcamo’s contention.
As this developed, Arcamo moved for the passage of and the SP approved Resolution NO. 2015-558, authorizing the Gov. Edgar M. Chatto to represent the Provincial Government of Bohol and sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) regarding the participation of the province in the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) on January 18-25, 2016 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Manila.
The said measure was sponsored by Arcamo; co-sponsored by Damalerio, Hon. Cesar Tomas M. Lopez and the Presiding Officer, Vice-Gov. Concepcion O. Lim.
The approval was anchored on the recommendation of the joint committee Report No. 2015-03 by the Committees on Tourism and Finance, Budget and Appropriations.
Earlier, Chatto requested authority to represent the Provincial Government of Bohol and sign the said MOA entered into by and between the Provincial Government of Bohol and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) on its participation in the said tourism forum.
Provincial Tourism Officer Josephine Cabarrus said that the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is spearheading the Philippine participation in the said annual forum which will be joining in by Association of Southeast Asian Nations, (ASEAN) namely: Brunei, Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (rvo)