On his first official day as Bohol’s highest ranking government official, Governor Arthur Yap summed up his administration’s main thrust—job creation through tourism.
Yap, after leading the Capitol’s first flag-raising ceremony under his government on Tuesday, said that his administration will steer the province towards being tourism-centric in a bid to generate employment.
“So let it be very clear, kung naa mangutana ninyo ‘what is the overall objective?’ It is to create jobs and opportunities for everybody. How? Very simple, only one program—tourism ra,” said Yap, addressing Capitol officials and employees. “That’s why we have to think tourism in everything we do.”
According to Yap, Bohol should capitalize on the previous investments made by both the local and national governments to preposition the province as a main tourism draw in the country.
“Because we are already here. Billions of pesos have already been invested in Bohol by the national government and by the local government. So we will not waste the opportunity,” he added.
Yap in his inaugural speech on Sunday praised former governor Edgar Chatto, who served as provincial chief executive for nine years, for having been able to reduce poverty incidence in Bohol mainly through tourism.
Under Chatto, tourist arrivals continuously soared to 1.4 million in 2018 from 389,767 in 2013, the year when a 7.2-magnitude earthquake jolted Bohol, crippling the province’s services sector and various other industries.
Based on a Department of Tourism data, tourist arrivals in Bohol grew to 438,908 in 2014, to 602,257 in 2015, to 1 million in 2016, and to 1.1. million in 2017.
Following his first address to the Capitol workforce, Yap met with the department heads of the provincial government to issue his first directives.
For his part, Vice Governor Rene Relampagos expressed his full support for Yap and called on Capitol officials and employees to do the same and rally behind the governor.
“Rest assured, we will be solidly behind our governor and I do hope and pray that you too will be solidly behind us,” Relampagos said.
Both Yap and Relampagos ran under the Padayon Bol-anon coalition. Majority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, meanwhile, are allied with the coalition. (R. Tutas)