[This is Part 8/8 of the discussion on Republic Act No. 9593, also known as The Tourism Act of 2009. Link to other parts found below.]
What is the mandate of the Department of Tourism (DOT)? The DOT is the primary planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and regulatory government agency in the development and promotion of the tourism industry, both domestic and international, in coordination with attached agencies and other government instrumentalities. It shall instill in the Filipino the industry’s fundamental importance in the generation of employment, investment and foreign exchange.
What are some of DOT’s powers and functions? The DOT shall prepare a market development program to attract people to visit the Philippines and enhance the prestige of the country and the Filipino people in the international community. It shall also represent the government in all domestic and international conferences and fora, and in all multilateral or bilateral treaties and international agreements concerning tourism.
What is the structure of DOT? The DOT shall consist of the Department Proper (Offices of the Secretary, Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries), Department Offices, Services and Unit, and the Regional and Foreign Offices. The Department Offices are:
- Office of Product Development. – Functions include the conceptualization and development of new products which will enhance tourism sites and facilities, and encouraging joint undertakings with the private sector for the development of new tourism-related products and programs.
- Office of Tourism Development Planning, Research and Information Management. – Tasked with the preparation, formulation monitoring and evaluation of policies, plans and programs of the DOT, including the National Tourism Development Plan. It is also tasked with sourcing of grants or loans from local and foreign funding institutions to implement tourism policies, plans and projects, as well as pursuing DOT’s interests in multilateral, international, and regional tourism cooperation, agreements and treaties.
- Office of Industry Manpower Development. – It is tasked, among others, of conducting seminars on Philippine history, culture, environment and related subjects, in coordination with appropriate government agencies and the private sector, as well as encouraging the development of training courses and apprenticeship programs for tourist guides and other similar workers jointly with concerned tourism enterprises, appropriate government agencies and the private sector.
- Office of Tourism Standards and Regulations. – Tasked with formulating and enforcing internationally competitive standards of facilities and services.
- Office of Tourism Coordination. – Tasked to increase linkages between various government offices and the private sector and among the various entities in the private sector itself to properly implement tourism policy, including the function of supporting the private sector in all tourism activities requiring governmental coordination.
- Office of Tourism Resource Generation. – This office is tasked with the collection of necessary fees and charges which shall be used by the DOT in the promotion and marketing efforts of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB ) and the development of infrastructure facilities, utilities and services of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). The proceeds of such collection shall accrue directly and automatically to the DOT.
What is the Tourism Development Fund? This is a special fund created under this law, to be disbursed and administered by the DOT. It shall be used for the development, promotion and marketing of tourism and other projects of the DOT that will boost tourism in the country. The Fund shall be sourced from the fees and charges which will be collected by the DOT. A special account shall be established for this Fund in the National Treasury.
What Agencies and Corporations are attached to the DOT? The following shall be attached to the DOT and shall be under the supervision of the Secretary for program and policy coordination:
- Tourism Promotions Board (TPB). The Philippine Conventions and Visitors Corporation (PCVC) is hereby reorganized as the TPB. The Bureaus for Domestic and International Tourism Promotions, and the Office of Tourism Information of the DOT, are hereby absorbed into the TPB.
- Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). The Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) is reorganized as the TIEZA.
- Duty-Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC). It shall be a body corporate to operate the duty-and tax-free merchandising system in the Philippines to augment the service facilities for tourists and to generate foreign exchange and revenue for the government. The Duty Free Philippines shall be reorganized to become the DFPC.
- Intramuros Administration.
- National Parks Development Committee.
- Nayong Pilipino Foundation.
- Philippine Retirement Authority.
- Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving, which shall undertake measures to provide the standard basic dive rules to all levels or kinds of divers, regulate scuba sports and technical diving in the country and ensure the safety of the sport through the formulation of policies pursuant thereto, in coordination with the Office of Tourism Standards and Regulations, including the regulation of the accredited scuba sports and technical diving establishments.
Tourism Infrastructure Program. The DOT, in accordance with the National Tourism Development Plan and local government initiatives, shall coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in the establishment of a tourism infrastructure program in the respective work programs of said agencies, identifying therein vital access roads, airports, seaports and other infrastructure requirement in identified tourism areas. The said agencies and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall accord priority status to the funding of this tourism infrastructure program.
+ Main Primer: Tourism Act of 2009 (RA 9593)
+ Shared Responsibilities of National and Local Governments
+ 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