Press Release
May 10, 2006


Senator Richard J. Gordon, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism, emphasized yesterday that Senate Bill 2138 otherwise known as Tourism Bill Act 2006 will provide protection and safety to the millions of local and foreign tourists in the country assuring them of fair and quality service.

Gordon said the tourism bill will guarantee protection needed by the thousands of tourists who have been charged exorbitant rates, ripped off by taxis, buses, and public transport, by substandard accommodations and fly by-night agencies and operators.

This bill is about the many ordinary tourists both local and foreign who have been victimized and were unprotected by the lack of proper standards. This is not about Manila or Pasay, or any particular city or municipality. LGUs that use their powers to regulate and license responsibly should have nothing to fear, he explained.

He insisted that SB 2138 will uplift the standard of service of tourism for every corner of the Philippines-not just the urbanized areas of the country- so that tourists can feel safe and be assured of quality service from simple courtesies to reliable travel information, to clean toilets and sheets, to travel and tour operators and guides who can really speak well about the country.

Who speaks for the tourists? Who is looking out for them? Do you want to go to a disco like Ozone, or get on a taxi cab at the airport that doesnt use its meter or takes you for an unwanted tour of Metro Manila, or to a Hotel that does not even have a fire escape or fire sprinklers? The Department of Tourism (DOT) must help the tourist know whats out there by grading establishments, ensuring quality and safety, and working with the LGUs to enforce those grades and standards, said Gordon. This is why the bill requires tourism enterprises to undergo accreditation with DOT.

Gordon also divulged that tourism bill, which is debated on the floor for second reading, will encourage the industry to seek excellence, creating a distinction of quality and merit for the Philippines, definitely increasing the quality and quantity of visitors when enacted into law.

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