Tourists arriving at Puerto Princesa from a cruise liner are assisted by a city tour guide (in a blue shirt) on their way to their vehicle. | Photo from Puerto Princesa Tourism FB fan page

Puerto Princesa’s compliance with accreditation requirements for tourism-related enterprises and its post-pandemic tour guiding training initiatives have been commended by the regional office of the tourism department for enhancing visitor services.

MIMAROPA regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Zeny Pallugna said the City Tourism Department (CTD) of Puerto Princesa has demonstrated its commitment to reviving the tourism economy and improving visitor services by prioritizing the upskilling of tour guides, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, she praised the city’s emphasis on ensuring that tourism-related enterprises (TREs) are accredited by DOT, which guarantees that their services adhere to industry standards.

This comes following a report from CTD chief Demetrio Alvior Jr. last Friday, May 5, stating that the majority of the city’s tourism-related enterprises (TREs) are now accredited.

“Kami po talaga dito, all out support kami sa programa ng DOT about sa accreditation kasi gusto namin na talagang lahat ng mga TRE dito, lalo na yong mga primary, ay talagang DOT-accredited. Kapag accredited ka ay talagang dumaan ka sa process (We really give our all-out support to the DOT’s program on accreditation because we want all the TREs here, especially the primary ones, to be DOT-accredited. This shows that when you are accredited, it means that you have undergone the process),” Alvior told Pallugna during the Amos Ta Ren sa Puerto Princesa radio show of the CTD.

Pallugna replied, “Oo nga. Ang saya-saya ko noong nakikita ko yong data. Wala lang akong exact figure sa accredited establishments or enterprises dito sa Puerto Princesa, pero everyday, I approve yong mga accreditation for different enterprises—mga tour operators or travel agencies, at saka yong mga tour guides natin (Yes, I was really happy when I saw the data. I don’t have the exact figure for the accredited establishments or enterprises here in Puerto Princesa, but every day, I approve accreditations for various enterprises such as tour operators or travel agencies, as well as our tour guide).”

She added that they’re thankful because the CTD initiated the training of tour guides since they play a crucial role in the tourism industry, providing essential services to visitors by leading and managing tours, providing information about the destination, its culture, history, and attractions, and ensuring the safety and enjoyment of the tourists.

Pallugna added it is good that training them before they’re accredited is part of the CTD’s goals.

Additionally, she expressed her gratitude to the CTD for backing their mobile accreditation program team that visited the city to certify TREs.

“Isa kayo sa mga LGUs na naunang mag-isyu ng ganoong ordinance para ma encourage natin yong mga tourism enterprises na magpa accredit (You are one of the LGUs that first issued such an ordinance to encourage tourism enterprises to get accredited),” she said.