Palawan, often hailed as the “Last Frontier” of the Philippines, has once again become a focal point in the celebration of National Tourism Week and World Tourism Day 2023, as the province withdrew their commitment to sustainable tourism and eco-conscious travel.
From September 21 to 27, 2023, the Philippines commemorated National Tourism Week, coinciding with the global observance of World Tourism Day 2023, which centered on the theme “Tourism & Green Investments.”
These events underscored Palawan’s initiatives in fostering a deep appreciation for the environment and the preservation of its unique ecosystems.
The Provincial Tourism Promotions and Development Office (PTPDO) of the Palawan Provincial Government, under the leadership of Provincial Tourism Officer Maribel C. Buñi, actively engaged in a series of activities that emphasized not only the beauty of Palawan but also the importance of responsible tourism in preserving its pristine natural wonders.
One standout event was the West Philippine Sea Tourism Biodiversity Week, launched on September 25 at Robinson’s Mall Palawan. This occasion served as a platform to conduct a Tourism & Environmental Forum, where experts and enthusiasts alike discussed the significance of sustainable tourism practices.
Mayor Roberto M. Del Mundo, leading LGU Kalayaan, spearheaded this initiative, with other dignitaries present such as PGP Chief of Staff Ceasar Sammy A. Magbanua, representing Governor V. Dennis M. Socrates, and PTPDO Marketing Chief Arnoldo Valdez, Jr.
Municipal Tourism Officer Khenjap Hupanda conveyed that this initiative is part of Mayor Del Mundo’s broader strategy to promote Kalayaan as an ecotourism island group, making it a top choice for eco-conscious travelers.
“The tourism and biodiversity week aims to further solidify our advocacy about ecotourism across all sectors of society, not only among tourists but also among students. We will have a tourism skills olympic and involve our tourism stakeholders. We had a tourism forum during our opening held last Monday and also for the general public. We had the Kalayaan exhibit. This aims to raise awareness, especially among our fellow Filipinos, about the importance of Kalayaan,” said Hupanda.
Regarding the reported issues concerning the deterioration of the marine ecosystem in Kalayaan, Hupanda emphasized that it is no longer solely a matter of political conflict or territorial disputes but primarily an issue of environmental protection.
“We believe that protecting the environment in Kalayaan has implications for the international community. It’s not just us Filipinos who should take action. We are showing that this excellent initiative for environmental protection originates from our own country,” Hupanda said.
Meanwhile, several employees and agencies of LGU Kalayaan underwent Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) training on September 27 at the VJR Hall of the capitol in partnership with DOT MIMAROPA and PTPDO.
DOT-Accredited Trainer Bryan John Dizon served as the resource speaker and facilitator, covering topics related to Filipino Values and Service Excellence, Understanding the Customer, Delivering Great Service Excellence, and Service Recovery, among others.