MANILA – The city government of Puerto Princesa is retrofitting programs for the tourism industry, including agri-tourism, as it starts to gradually welcome more economic activities while ensuring that safety protocols are in place.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday agreed with the local government’s push for agri-tourism as one of the diversified methods to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
“I definitely agree with your take in this direction. Mahalaga po talaga ang agrikultura ngayong panahong ito (Agriculture is very important nowadays),” he said.
Speaking as a guest during the Network Briefing News, Puerto Princesa City Vice Mayor Maria Nancy Socrates shared that the agri-tourism initiative was made to ensure food security and likewise become an additional source of income for local farmers.
“We are also encouraging our farmers to go into that (agri-tourism). Additional income din po ito sa kanila (This is also additional income for them), not only additional food for everyone,” Socrates said, adding that continued efforts are being done to retrofit the tourism sector in compliance with the new normal and guidelines set against Covid-19.
She also commended the health sector for earnestly providing inputs in their preparations.
“Tuluy-tuloy po ang ating paghahanda. As for preparations, andyan po lagi and very commendable po yung ating health sector, mula dun sa aming mga doctor at health front-liners, sapagkat talagang very serious po sila sa kanilang mga recommendations para po ma-ensure yung safety at health nung ating mga bisita, pati rin po ng ating mga mamamayan. (Our preparations are ongoing. Our doctors and health front-liners are very commendable for their earnest efforts to provide recommendations to ensure the safety and health of visitors, as well as the residents),” Socrates said.
Puerto Princesa as new ICT-BPM hotspot
Meanwhile, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) has named Puerto Princesa City as one of the digital cities being eyed to be developed into information and communication technology (ICT) hubs to serve as business and innovation centers that would help sustain the rapid growth of the industry.
Socrates said the city government would focus on undertaking revamps on its ICT infrastructure as part of its Covid-19 recovery plan and preparing the city for more Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) investments.