Sunday, 10 March 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, March 9, 2013

Govt sees tourist influx with developments in tourism, aviation sectors

Malacanang expects tourist arrivals to surge with the recent development in the country’s aviation and tourism sectors.

Interviewed over state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the signing of the law exempting foreign air and shipping carriers from paying the common carriers tax would be a boost to the country’s tourism industry.

This is in addition to the travel and tourism competiveness report of the World Economic Forum ranking the Philippines from 92 to 94 and then to 82, Valte said.

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) validating mission also lifted significant safety concerns in the Philippine commercial aviation industry.

Explaining the government’s position on the tax exemptions of international carriers from paying the common carriers tax, Valte said the government earns less than one percent of the nation’s budget from the revenues collected from this tax.

“But on the other hand, because you have given the international carriers exemption, then when we forego that particular portion of revenue, which is less than one percent of the budget anyway, magkakaroon ng multiplier effect; kasi ma-i-encourage sila lumipad dito sa ating bansa so that means more flights, it means more tourists will be coming in,” she said.

More tourists arriving the country is a way of creating jobs for Filipinos, she added.

“Alam naman natin that the tourism industry is one of our drivers. Patuloy ang pagdating ng mga turista dito at nagkakaroon ng multiplier effect sa job generation natin.”

Following ICAO’s positive assessment on the Philippine aviation industry, Valte said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has been continuously working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union to remove the country from the blacklist.

If the CAAP succeeded in delisting the country from Category 2 status, Philippine carriers could start direct flights to US and European destinations, she said.

To prepare the country for the influx of more tourists, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) continues to rehabilitate old airports or construct new airports, Valte said.

The Aquino administration targets to achieve 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Last year, the Department of Tourism launched the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign slogan to attract more tourists to come to the country. PND (as)

Appointing women in government empowers them, Palace says

As the country observes the International Women’s Month, the Palace said it hopes President Benigno S. Aquino III’s appointment of women in key positions in government would empower Filipino women and make them role models worthy of emulation.

In a radio interview Saturday over dzRb Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential spokesperson cited several studies that found more and more Filipino women are now holding positions of responsibility and authority in the society.

This is contrary to some observations saying Filipino women are being abused and that there is a need for them to be more assertive of their rights.

When President Aquino took office in the 2010, Valte said more Filipino women were given positions of responsibility and authority in the government.

Among them include Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, she noted.

“Umaasa din tayo that this will also serve as a model for other women to also fight for their empowerment,” she said. “Kasi kahit sa private sector, lumalabas that there are more women in the board room. Marami nang mga nagiging babaeng CEO [chief executive officer]. We hope that this trend continues,” continued Valte.

Responding to the criticism of a women’s advocacy group that said Filipino women haven’t benefited from economic growth in the country, Valte said more women have been receiving assistance from the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

“Mas magandang makausap natin ang mga nanay na kasama sa Pantawid Pamilya Program, dahil ang mga nanay ang mga nagtataguyod sa kanilang mga pamilya,” she said.

Housewives are the ones giving positive feedbacks on the benefits of the CCT on their families, Valte added. PND (as)