[This is Part 7/8 of the discussion on Republic Act No. 9593, also known as The Tourism Act of 2009. Link to other parts found below.]
Coordination between National and Local Governments. – The DOT, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Local Government Unites (LGUs) shall integrate and coordinate local and national plans for tourism development. The DOT, the TPB and the TIEZA shall prioritize promotion and development assistance for LGUs which successfully adopt and implement their tourism development plans.
National Tourism Development Planning. – The DOT, in coordination with its attached agencies, LGUs and the private sector, shall continuously update the existing national tourism development plan in view of evolving needs and capabilities of LGUs and the domestic and global tourism market.
Local Tourism Development Planning. – LGUs, in consultation with stakeholders, are encouraged to utilize their powers under the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160), to ensure the preparation and implementation of a tourism development plan, the enforcement of standards and the collection of statistical data for tourism purposes. They shall, insofar as practicable, prepare local tourism development plans that integrate zoning, land use, infrastructure development, the national system of standards for tourism enterprises, heritage and environmental protection imperatives in a manner that encourages sustainable tourism development.
Accreditation. – The DOT shall prescribe and regulate standards for the operation of the tourism industry. Primary tourism enterprises shall be periodically required to obtain accreditation from the DOT as to the quality of their facilities and standard of services. Accreditation shall be voluntary for secondary tourism enterprises.
(“Tourism enterprises” refers to facilities, services and attractions involved in tourism, such as, but not limited to: travel and tour services; tourist transport services, whether for land, sea or air transportation; tour guides; adventure sports services involving such sports as mountaineering, spelunking, scuba diving, and other sports activities of significant tourism potential; convention organizers; accommodation establishments, including, but not limited to, hotels, resorts, apartelles, tourist inns, motels, pension houses, and home stay operators; tourism estate management services, restaurants, shops and department stores, sports and recreational centers, spas, museums and galleries, theme parks, convention centers and zoos.)
(“Primary tourism enterprises” refers to travel and tour services; land, sea and air transport services exclusively for tourist use; accommodation establishments; convention and exhibition organizers; tourism estate management services; and such other enterprises as may be identified by the Secretary, after due consultation with concerned sectors.)
(“Secondary tourism enterprises” refers to all other tourism enterprises not covered under “primary tourism enterprises”.)
The DOT shall evolve a system of standards for the accreditation of these enterprises in accordance with the relevant tourism development plan. These standards shall adhere, insofar as practicable, to those recognized internationally. The Department and LGUs shall ensure strict compliance of tourism enterprises with these standards.
The DOT, through the Office of Tourism Standards and Regulations, shall act on complaints regarding accredited tourism enterprises, and after notice and hearing, may impose fines, or downgrade, suspend or revoke accreditation, for violation of the terms thereof. The DOT shall likewise have the power and the duty to issue tourism advisories pertaining to tourism enterprises found to have violated the terms of their accreditation.
When an enterprise fails to obtain or loses accreditation, the DOT shall notify the LGU concerned so that it may take appropriate action in relation to an enterprise’s licenses and permits to operate.
The DOT may, under such relevant terms and conditions stipulated, delegate the enforcement of the system of accreditation to LGUs that have adopted and successfully implemented their tourism development plans.
Value of Accreditation. – The DOT shall develop a system to enhance the value of accreditation among primary and secondary tourism enterprises. Only accredited enterprises shall be beneficiaries of promotional, training and other programs of the DOT and its attached agencies and corporations.
Accredited enterprises shall, insofar as practicable, give due preference to other accredited enterprises in obtaining relevant services.
Tourism Officers. – Every province, city or municipality in which tourism is a significant industry shall have a permanent position for a tourism officer. He or she shall be responsible for preparing, implementing and updating local tourism development plans, and enforcing tourism laws, rules and regulations.
Tourism Assistance. – In coordination with the DOT’s regional offices, every province, city or municipality in which tourism is a significant industry shall establish a tourist information and assistance center to assist tourists and tourism enterprises.
Tourism Site Classification. – The tourism councils established in the administrative regions of the country shall meet, on a regular basis, to classify and evaluate tourism destinations, sites and activities within their respective regions. Such classifications and evaluations may be used by the DOT and its attached agencies, LGUs, and the private sector as guide in the development and implementation of their respective programs.
+ Main Primer: Tourism Act of 2009 (RA 9593)
+ The Department of Tourism (DOT)
+ Tourism Promotions Board (TBP) and the Tourism Promotions Fund
+ Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZ)
+ Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
+ Increased Tourist Access
+ Full text of R.A. 9593