Department of Tourism Honors Top MIMAROPA Stakeholders

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DOT honors top Mimaropa stakeholders

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Tourism recently feted outstanding individuals and public and private stakeholders in the Mimaropa Region who provided valuable support to the efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic despite its impact on the tourism industry.

Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan
Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan

“We are recognizing the tourism establishments and personalities who made great contributions to the industry and who exemplified the renown Filipino hospitality that makes visitors want to come back,” says DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo.

She cited the regional office which assisted 6,628 foreign and local tourists and boarded them on 150 sweeper flights and ferries to their points of origin.

Also known as Region IV-B, it is composed of the island provinces of Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan, which are known for their terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

It is home to the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, both Unesco World Heritage Sites located in Palawan, and Puerto Galera, a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Site and among the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.

According to Mimaropa regional director Engr. Christopher Morales, the Tourism Appreciation and Recognition Day hope to inspire local governments and the private sector in restarting the tourism industry.

Kayaking at El Nido's Big Lagoon
Kayaking at El Nido’s Big Lagoon

Taking center stage were Palawan province which was voted as 2020’s World’s Best Island by Travel + Leisure; El Nido which was named as one of the Best Travel Destinations by Trip Advisor and Huffington Post, and by Condé Nast Traveller for its Hidden Beach as among the world’s best; and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which was hailed by Tripadvisor as Traveller’s Choice.

Private sector honorees included 2Go Shipping, Air Swift, Montenegro Shipping, Starhorse Shipping, Starlight Shipping, The Funny Lion Resort, and Bayay Sibuyanon. Other recipients are Lio Airport, Yoshi Ohtsoka of Palawan Divers, El Nido Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., and Sitel Philippines Corp. which are all located in El Nido.

Topping government recipients were the DOT’s Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy, and the NCR-Airport Reception Unit, Department of Health, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Immigration and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines stations in Puerto Princesa City.

Local governments recognized were the municipalities of San Jose, Sablayan, Puerto Galera, Magdiwang, Romblon, Busuanga, Coron, El Nido, San Vicente, the cities of Puerto Princesa and Calapan, and all the five provinces for assisting stranded tourists during the quarantine.

Named outstanding groups were the Association of Travel Agencies & Allied Tourism Enterprises, the Association of Accredited Tourist Accommodation of Puerto Princesa, Palawan Tourism Council, Calamianes Association of Tourism Establishments, and the Pandurucan Cinema Film Makers Association.

Puerto Galera Bay Sunset
Puerto Galera Bay Sunset

Individual awardees for excellence in the delivery of tourism services were Peter Collings of D’Pearl Bay Busuanga and former DOT director Rebecca Villanueva-Labit who aggressively pushed accreditation in Puerto Princesa, a Hall of Famer for having the region’s most tourist enterprises and frontliners.

Other awardees were Loreto Mantana, Charmaine Rhoda Mantana, Jose Ernadio, and Rocelle Ramos Mayo, all of Busuanga, who were cited for their acts of honesty.

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