DOT must take the lead, asap
The observation of former socioeconomic planning secretary Cielito F. Habito about the long, unnecessary queues that an outbound Filipino traveler has to go through in paying his travel tax is very valid and deserves to be quickly addressed by the Department of Tourism, if only to show that it is part of the national effort to make public service something the Filipinos can be proud of (“Airport lines and ICT woes,” Opinion, 6/24/14).
It is difficult to understand why the DOT, with its vaunted aggressive marketing thrust to make the Philippines a major tourist destination in Asia, has miserably failed in finding ways to reduce the number of queues for outbound passengers. As vigorous as we are in selling and promoting the Philippines abroad, we must apply that same vigor to improving passenger convenience and comfort. This failure puts a lot of government money, invested purportedly to improve public service, to waste.
For someone who teaches tourism, I am appalled at the DOT’s seeming lack of initiative to improve its service in this area. Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez should call for a thorough review of all its services in all our airports in support of President Aquino’s call for good governance. Here, the DOT can take the lead in the government thrust to extend better public service, specifically to all travelers—whether they’re using air, sea, or land transport—in close coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications, the appropriate local government units and the Philippine National Police. There is an opportunity worth grabbing.
—KRISTINE R. LIZARDO, MSHRM,
faculty member, Tourism Department, Ateneo de Naga University
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