Tourism promotion is a priority among all cities and provinces in the country today, particularly with President Rodrigo Duterte and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo stressing the importance of tourism as a medium of economic development.
However, despite the push towards tourism, it appears some government agencies have failed in developing more cooperative efforts in tourism promotion and have limited themselves to regulatory functions.
In Bacolod City, there is a need to stress more tourism activity.
One instance is with the Banago Port in Bacolod City, where travelers are utilizing it with fast ferry roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) service; however, complaints have arisen regarding Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) regulations.
Travelers have found the port inconvenient as taxis are not available inside the port. According to the PPA, efforts are not made in encouraging taxi service as there is an existing jeepney and tricycle group operating in the area.
Why offer domestic and international tourists dilapidated jeepneys and tricycles as a means of navigating this very livable city?
Heard one tourist calls it “a stupid mentality.”
The DOT regional office, along with the Bacolod City government, must make the effort at resolving such regulations, especially when transport groups are ruining the tourism potential of the city and province.
Another issue with the Banago Port is the prohibition of overnight parking. The port is far and domestic travelers operating their own personal vehicles have nowhere to park. PPA should allow overnight parking and limit the number of vehicles allowed – plus, they can also collect a fee.
Government agencies must look into public relations, and not just regulations, then the Banago Port can consider some additional amenities for travelers.
This column greets friends like Senator Dick Gordon, Atty. Clint Aranas, Atty. Jan Rubiato, Bong Go, William Ramirez, Meloy Mercado, Congressman Bayani Fernando, Bluboy Duterte, Atty. Helen Catalbas, JC Clavecillas, Roland Catada Ramos, Nato Novero, and Danny Dangcalan./WDJ