Puerto Princesa City pushes for ‘traveler’s bill of rights’

Based on the formulated tourism roadmap, the provincial government will focus on three strategic directions. (File photo)

The Puerto Princesa City Council has requested Rep. Gil Acosta (3rd district) to study and file a “Traveler’s Bill of Rights” to protect the interests of domestic and foreign tourists.

Councilor Nesario Awat in a resolution said Acosta can sponsor a bill in the Lower House that will protect the basic rights of the travelers who come to Puerto Princesa.

“Ang Puerto Princesa ay tourism destination. Dapat masiguro natin ang excellent services ng ating mga hotels, transportations, at iba pa. Sa ganito ring paraan ay mapapangalagaan natin ang turismo ng lungsod,” he pointed out.

He added the law can even be helpful in other parts of the country where there are tourism destinations.

He cited the fact that there is no existing nationwide law that specifically protects the rights of travelers.

“Dapat naka-specify sa batas ang mga karapatan ng mga travelers. Ang pag-aaralan lang nyan yong Bill of Rights na nasa ating Constitution, and from there, ay mapag-aralan at makakagawa ng specific para sa mga travelers,” he said.

Awat cited the case of a tourist who booked accommodations in a hotel and paid online but when the tourist arrived he found out that it was not the same hotel that was advertised on the internet.

The bill of rights for travelers, he said, will also protect them from unscrupulous transport services that demand full payment even if they are unable to complete the tours.

The absence of a traveler’s bill of rights, said Awat, makes them prone to abuses.

“Unfair yon sa mga travelers kaya dapat dito sa Puerto Princesa at sa ibang lugar sa Pilipinas ay alam ng traveler na napapangalagaan ang kanyang karapatan. Kung may Bill of Rights ay maaring ireklamo ng traveler kung ano man yong mga paglabag sa kanyang karapatan,” he also said.

If the law is passed, tourism establishments will be made aware of their duties and responsibilities to the travelers, Awat said.

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