Sunday, 10 February 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, February 9, 2013

Palace welcomes DOT’s projection on tourism sector employment generation

Malacanang welcomed the pronouncement of the Department of Tourism (DOT) which said it expects to create seven million new jobs in the tourism industry at the end of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s term.

The tourism sector is one of the areas being considered to generate high employment apart from manufacturing sector, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

“Tourism and agribusiness are among the sectors that our cluster, economic cluster, is looking at to generate high employment,” she said. “So magandang balita ‘yan at lagi namang sinasabi ng Pangulo na for every tourist that comes to the Philippines merong trabahong nalilikha.”

More tourists arriving in the country means jobs for porters, drivers, and souvenir item vendors and so on, Valte said. “It really generates jobs. Hopefully, makita natin at ma-attain natin ang target na ‘yan,” she added.

This week, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said he is confident that the successful implementation of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) will create millions of new jobs by 2016.

The DOT unveiled last year the P265-billion program aimed at achieving 10 million international tourist arrivals by the end of the Aquino administration in 2016.

The government will work with the private sector through the public-private partnership (PPP) to realize the NTDP. Under PPP, investments will be poured to build new hotels, shopping malls, leisure and entertainment facilities, resorts, health and wellness as well as cruise and transport facilities.

The DOT launched last year its “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” tourism campaign to achieve its vision of attracting more tourists to come to the Philippines.

In a latest development, the country is hosting this week the travel tour expo spearheaded by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association. PND (as)

Government ready to protect witnesses to solve high profile crimes

Malacanang made an assurance Saturday that the government is ready to provide protection to witnesses following the death of a key witness in the murder of Palawan environmentalist and journalist Gerry Ortega.

Dennis Aranas, who allegedly served as a lookout in the murder of Ortega, was found dead by fellow inmates inside the Quezon provincial jail in Lucena City.

Ortega’s supporters have raised concern over the deaths of key witnesses in the murder.

In a radio interview Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Aquino administration remains committed to protecting witnesses to solve crimes happening in the country, like the Ortega murder case.

“Yes, we are committed to protecting the witnesses who need protection; it is the matter of approaching the Secretary of Justice to say that ‘kailangan namin ng inyong tulong’ at sinabi na ni Secretary De Lima that the death of the witness will not affect the ongoing the case,” Valte said.

“So we are fully committed to providing security to those who will ask for the protection of the DOJ,” she added.

Jail officials in Lucena City said Aranas allegedly committed suicide because he could no longer bear the brunt of being in prison. The police said it would conduct a postmortem investigation to erase doubts about foul play.

Aranas, as part of a three-man hit team that killed Ortega, acted as a lookout, according to police investigation. Ortega was reportedly murdered on January 24, 2010.

Former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes is being hunted down by the police for his alleged link to the murder of Ortega. PND (as)