Bohol First District Representative Rene L. Relampagos today said he looks forward to a better year ahead for the country, particularly in terms of attaining inclusive and sustainable growth through poverty-reduction efforts, increased foreign investments and tourism growth.
Relampagos, who chairs the House Committee on Tourism, said he remains optimistic that the Philippine tourism will continue to catch up with its neighbors especially with the ASEAN integration fully realized by 2016.
â€œI am positive that 2016 will be a different year because the government is spending more than four times on infrastructure development than last yearâ€™s allocation. Under the P3.002-trillion national budget for 2016, the government has allocated P766.5 billion for public infrastructure and thatâ€™s a good signâ€.
Relampagos said the construction and improvement of airports and seaports and rehabilitation of railway systems are very much vital in attracting tourists, both foreign and local.
Moreover, he added, the budget allocation for additional infrastructure such as bridges and roads repair and rehabilitation aimed at making tourist destinations more accessible will further expand the tourism industry.
â€œThe tourism industry is one of the most dynamic industries in todayâ€™s global economy as it can generate stable employment and income. We just need to take advantage of the ASEAN integration through intensified tourism campaigns that includes promotion of other neighboring countries because tourists from far places do notjust travel to one specific place, they usually visit a region,â€ Relampagos stressed.