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Tourist spots must be accessible to everybody – Belaro

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House of Representatives recently approved on second reading a proposed measure that will ensure accessibility of tourist spots through infrastructure development.

Principally authored by 1-Ang Edukasyong Partylist Rep. Salvador Belaro, House Bill 8143 seeks to make tourist sites accessible to everyone through the building of necessary infrastructure.

The proposed measure mandates the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to prioritize the construction of necessary infrastructure to ensure the accessibility of all tourism sites in the country.

Belaro said one of the drawbacks of promoting tourism in the country was the lack of appropriate infrastructure, specifically good roads and bridges leading to many tourist destinations in the country.

“We have to make our tourist sites accessible to everybody by ensuring that all such tourist spots are connected, at the very least by an accessible road or a bridge,” Belaro said.

He said tourism was a sunshine industry in the country and it needed government support to continue generating income for the economy.

Under the bill, the implementation of the Convergence Program for Enhancing Tourism Access of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall be prioritized.

The DPWH is the agency that will ensure the construction of roads and bridges leading to all tourism sites in the country.

If approved into law, the proposed legislation tasks the secretaries of the DOT and the DPWH to include in their departments’ programs the implementation of the measure.

Funding for implementation of the proposed act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act and from internally generated funds of the DOT.

The DOT, in collaboration with the DPWH, shall issue the necessary rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the act.