The Department of Tourism (DOT) has crafted a five-year plan to develop competent and world-class Filipino tourism professionals.

Launched on May 28, the Philippine Tourism Human Capital Development Plan (PTHCD) for 2021-2025 seeks to ensure the steady supply of trained manpower and to address challenges facing tourism human capital development.

“We aim to develop competent, world-class Filipino tourism professionals through a harmonized education system and strong tourism industry linkages and collaboration. Together, these factors will lead us toward attaining sustainable and inclusive national socio-economic development,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

In the previous months, DOT conducted a national consultation, situational analysis, and focus group discussions across the country with participants from different tourism industry sub-sectors, local government units, government agencies and the academe.

The discussions covered education tourism as a tourism product offering, industry linkages and partnerships, research and innovation, standards review and development, implementation of the Asean Mutual Recognition Arrangements for Tourism Professionals, and other programs.

The Republic Act 9593, also known as the Tourism Act of 2009, mandates the DOT to draft an industry manpower development plan every five years.

PTHCD is the continuation of the Philippine Tourism Human Resource Development Strategy and Action Plan for 2015-2020.

“In view of the challenges and opportunities brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, this updated PTHCD comes at a most critical time. The retooling, reskilling, and upskilling of the tourism workforce will all be crucial as the industry prepares to reopen and recover, and will be among the most important steps in our journey towards the better normal,” Romulo-Puyat said.

Romulo-Puyat was joined in the virtual launch by Department of Education Director Jocelyn Andaya, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Certification Office Executive Director Maria Susan Dela Rama, Commission on Higher Education OIC-Chief Standards Development Division Aline Magalong, and Tourism Industry Board Foundation Incorporated chair Ma. Christina Aquino. (PNA)