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MEDIA RELEASE

June 2016

Towards building a more competitive tourism work force


The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently held a Tourism Skills Forum on 14
June 2016 at the Manila Peninsula Hotel, Makati City to present updates on the
Tourism Industry Skills Development Program (TISDP), a key component of the
Philippine Improving Competitiveness in Tourism (PICTourism) project.
PICTourism is an ongoing technical assistance project for the DOT and which is
administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and funded by the government of
Canada. It focuses on improving quality standards of tourism through interventions in
the areas of quality assurance and accreditation of hotels and resorts, skills
development, and regulatory review of the sector.
On skills development, the TISDP has been designed as an innovative and
flexible mechanism to address the training and development needs of the existing
tourism industry workforce. Its activities include improvement of tourism curricula and
teaching methodologies, conduct of research and the Industry Skills Grant Scheme
(ISGS) which extends financial assistance to tourism-oriented firms to improve its
human resources.
The ISGS has invariably raised the competitiveness of the tourism sector
through the monetary grants for training programs that center on enhancing the skills
and competency levels, specifically of frontline service personnel.
Canada Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder said, It is a special
milestone today in our collective efforts involving the DOT, the ADB, Canada and of
course, the tourism industry representatives, to improve the competitiveness of the
tourism sector. Today we celebrate the success of the Industry Skills Grant Scheme
(ISGS) Both the private and government sectors are investing in the ISGS and
everyone benefits from this program The Philippine tourism workforce will find itself at
an advantage in comparison with the ASEAN peers.

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Speaking on the concept of competitiveness, DOT Secretary Ramon R.


Jimenez, Jr. said, Today, we have a very clear view of the regional and global
challenges we face. And thanks in no small part to the encouragement of our earnest
development partners the government of Canada and the Asian Development Bank
(ADB), we have formulated a simple but effective strategy for moving forward. And it
startles so many people because of its simplicity. Competitiveness through people.
The tagline of this strategy means successful hospitality and tourism enterprises
depend to a very large extent, upon the people who work in the businesses in all areas
and all levels. Therefore, how they are recruited, how they are managed, how they are
trained and educated, how they are shown their value and rewarded and how they are
supported through courses and continuous learning and career development are vital
considerations.
Meanwhile, ADB Director Kelly Bird congratulated the awardees and said that
ADB remains committed to the DOT and the industry and that it will continue to support
the skills development program.
The first round of grants was awarded in 2014 amounting to US$ 850,000. The
26 recipients benefitted around 4,200 employees of tourism enterprises, community
service organizations (CSO) and industry associations in the pilot provinces of Bohol,
Cebu, Davao and Palawan. At present, the grant for the first and second phases has
reached US$1.243 million with a total of 7,545 trained.
At the forum, updates were discussed by some of the trainees coming from
select firms such as the Amarela Resort (Bohol), Association of HRM (Davao), Cebu
Association of Tour Guides, Inc., Philippine Eagle Foundation (Davao), Skylight Hotel
(Palawan) and Cambugsay Tree Planters Association (Bohol).
On the other hand, several of the grant recipients/employers expounded on the
The Impact of Skills Training and Improving Competitiveness. These include the
Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants; Calamianes Association of
Tourism Establishments (Palawan); Cebu Parklane and, Grand Menseng (Davao).
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director Susan
Dela Rama discussed the TESDA Certification and its relevance to the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA).
DOT Assistant Secretary Rolando Caizal ensued with his presentation of the
Tourism Human Resource Development Strategy, an important output of the TISDP.
This TISDP output mirrors the details of the strategic direction on human
resource development of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), the
industrys roadmap for tourism development. Specifically, it supports the direction

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towards developing more competent, well-motivated and productive workforce that is at


par with international standards, such as the ASEAN. It also seeks to support the
certification process in consonance with the ASEAN MRA for Tourism Professionals to
provide for opportunities for cooperation and capacity building and facilitate mobility
within the tourism sector in the country and in ASEAN.
Assistant Secretary Caizal emphasized that, It is the NTDPs vision for the
Philippines to become the major source for highly trained workforce and center for
tourism & hospitality training and education in the region.
DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria V. Jasmin, Chairperson of the National
Tourism Skills Committee, in her closing remarks, said, We must look at the people
working in the industry as the primordial source of our competitive advantage
Training and education should not be regarded as an expense but rather as an
investment We should use this scheme as springboard for future human capital
development initiatives.
Inside the meeting hall were exhibits of model frontline services from the four
pilot provinces.

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CONTACT:

EVELYN A. MACAYAYONG
Media and Communications Service
eamacayayong@tourism.gov.ph

PHOTOS by Rommel Natanauan, DOT:

Welcome messages: Ambassador Neil Reeder, DOT Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. and ADB Director
Kelly Bird

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Other speakers: (L-R): TESDA Director Susan Dela Rama, DOT Assistant Secretary Rolando Caizal
and DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria V. Jasmin.

Awardees of Cebu

Awardees of Bohol

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Awardees of Davao

Awardees of Palawan

Handover of the Tourism Human Resources Development Strategy. (L-R) Senior Program Officer of the
Government of Canada Narcisa Rivera, DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria V. Jasmin, ADB Director
Kelly Bird, TESDAs Maria Isabel G. Gamurot, CHEDs Dr. Marivic Iriberri and DOT Secretary Ramon
Jimenez, Jr.

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