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Solon informs DOT that he wants to provide free tour instruction to locals.

MANILA, Philippines — On Thursday, a congressman requested that the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provide free tour guide training for tricycle drivers, jeepney drivers, UV express drivers, market sellers, and barangay tanods around the country (village officers).

The training, according to Quezon Rep.-elect Reynan Arrogancia, should be provided to “local people in the community” with whom tourists have direct contact when they arrive at their destinations.

He believes that tour guides, hotel employees, and resort employees should be trained in first aid for common circumstances.

“All too often, people are unaware of basic first-aid procedures. They only know how to get patients to the nearest hospital, which may be several minutes or hours away. Because first aid was not offered in the first place, the patient frequently dies onsite or while being evacuated,” Arrogancia stated in a statement.

Stipends or allowances, as well as in-kind aid, should be provided to trainees as incentives to attend and complete the program, according to him.

“They may be doing something else instead of training,” he explained, “therefore incentives are needed to get them to choose training.”

Meanwhile, Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas noted that the importance given to tourism and infrastructure by President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the 2023 budget will help both the tourism sector and local governments.

“We can expect additional jobs in the short and long future as a result of tourism and tourist-related infrastructure initiatives.” “The construction phase alone can create immediate jobs, particularly in pandemic-affected areas with high tourism potential,” Vargas added.

Incoming Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-idea Frasco’s to increase ties between local government units (LGUs) and the corporate sector was also commended by him.

Frasco, he claimed, could provide the “dynamism” needed to promote not only collaboration between LGUs and the private sector but also public-private tourist partnerships at the local level, because he was a former local leader.

“In the tourism sector, strong cooperation between local governments and private sector stakeholders will give both focus and synergy,” Vargas added.

According to Vargas, the tourism industry contributed 12.8 percent to GDP in 2019, but since the start of the epidemic, lockdowns and foreign travel restrictions have lowered the sector’s contribution to 5.4 percent.

He also mentioned that tourist employment fell from 5.72 million in 2019 to 4.68 million in 2020.

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