Cebu traders make recommendations for DoT, DENR posts

06/07/10 - CEBU CITY – The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has endorsed two of its members to for the Department of Tourism (DoT) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretaryships.

CCCI President Samuel Chioson announced that the Chamber will endorse Cebuano lawmaker Rep. Raul del Mar to the DoT, and Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival to the DENR.

Amid speculations on who will comprise the Cabinet of President-apparent Sen. Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Chioson contends that Cebuanos might be among the best persons to assume the Dot and DENR portfolios.

“Their competence, efficiency and character has moved the Chamber to endorse them,” he said in a statement, referring to del Mar and Archival, stressing that the CCCI believes they both have done well as public servants.

“Their length of service and the various recognitions that have been bestowed upon them in the course of their public service speak for their extraordinary leadership,” Chioson explained.

According to Chioson, Archival is "fit for the job” because of his strong advocacies on environmental conservation.

On his last term as Cebu City Councilor where he serves as Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Archival is an active environmental advocate who was awarded earlier this year as one of 10 outstanding Philippine councilors for his success in effectively showing examples of how livelihood can go hand-in-hand with environmental awareness.

His environmental programs include Kwarta sa Basura, the creation of the Metro Cebu Air Shed Board (MCASB) and the formation of the Cebu Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team (CE-SET).

For his part, del Mar, pointed out Chioson, has developed ample expertise in the tourism industry, having been former Chairman of Cebu City Tourism and the author of the Tourism Act of 2009.

Chioson said the CCCI’s endorsement of del Mar to the DOT post has been influenced by Mayor Tomas Osmena, who earlier said he is recommending either del Mar or Emmanuel Gonzalez, who owns and is the Chief Executive Officer of the popular Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Mactan, Cebu, as tourism secretary.

In a separate interview, current Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said he hopes the next tourism chief would replicate his eco-tourism development model, and accepts the challenge to further molding the tourism sector as the premier revenue contributor for the country.

“I want him/her to replicate the eco-tourism development model,” Durano said, as he readies to turn over his post to a new DoT secretary.

He added that the next tourism secretary has to sustain the robust tourism growth in the country, which Durano considers his legacy during his five-year stint in the department.

Durano underscored that the way by which Philippine tourism can be made to remain bullish is by strongly promoting countryside tourism, and further push for the eco-tourism model, which is now being practiced by such pro-active local governments like Bohol, Palawan, and Bicol.

Several Cebuano businessmen are pushing for the retention of Durano himself in his current post. One such businessman, Jay Aldeguer, who is Chairs the Philippine Retailers Association of Cebu, said one of the major achievements of the present government is in the growth of the local tourism industry.

In fact, Aldeguer said if the next DoT Secretary is unable to continue the programs implemented by Durano, “the new government might as well retain Durano as DOT secretary.” (Manila Bulletin)

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