Palawan’s and Puerto Princesa’s tourism industries have taken another step toward full recovery, with the Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) aiming to solidify the province’s brand as the best island destination in the world.
PTC president Rey Felix Rafols, who was sworn in again for a new mandate on Wednesday, expressed optimism for the tourism industry’s recovery during their oath-taking ceremony at the provincial capitol.
“It’s been difficult few years and I’m happy to say that we are not just hopeful, but we are encouraged and [full force] as well for the coming years. We are very optimistic that we will not only by again the No. 1 island in the world, but we will be able to provide sustainable tourism, we will be able to provide jobs,” Rafols said.
He added that while tourism was broken-hearted as a result of COVID, the council is back, thanking the provincial and city governments for their support to the industry, which he described as their driving force.
He also said that with tourism being one of the biggest industries in the country, the private sector and the government needs to help each for it to recover and flourish once again.
“We are here again to mend this broken heart, to give not just hope but livelihood. So that’s the thing that keeps pushing us in PTC na tuloy-tuloy yung pag-asa natin at aangat tayo sa turismo,” he said.
“We have to start fresh and we have to be optimistic,” he added.
Rafols also expressed personal commitment to the industry and that of PTC saying it has been their callng to be dedicated to every stakeholder, to every person that believes that Palawan is the most island in the world.”
“I personally, will dedicate my time and all my resources to achieve this dream that we will become once again the most beautiful island and to flourish environmentally, sustainability and also all the people na kailangan ng trabaho,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Governor Victorino Dennis M. Socrates also thanked the new set of PTC officers for their commitment and efforts in the tourism sector.
“Thank you for the efforts in keeping our economy alive. As we all know, tourism is the main engine driving our economy and we in government are here to support. I’d like to assure you that we will always be here, just tell us what we can do to help,” he said.
The new set of PTC officers who took their oath of office before Socrates yesterday at the provincial capitol were: Rey Felix Rafols, President, Angeli Natasha Mendoza Vice President (central); Francisco Fernandez, Vice President (north);Kharla Luneta, VP (south); Michelle Valdez, Corporate Secretary; Nathaniel Besid, Assistant Secretary; Deborah Tan, Treasurer; Christy Jimeno, Auditor; Donald Keith Bognoson Hazel Grace Lamparero, Guen Villanueva, Maritess Ungoco, and Margarette Lumauag, Board of Trustees.