Philippines Department of Tourism Assured of UNWTO Support
Department of Tourism, Philippines
20 December 2012
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has pledged its full support to the Department of Tourism (DOT) in light of the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) that recently hit the Philippines.
In his letter dated 11 December 2012 addressed to DOT Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr., UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai offered his “sincere and heartfelt sympathies to the people of the Government of the Philippines, particularly those who have lost loved ones.”
“UNWTO stands ready to support you and your Department, and I would like to personally assure you and the tourism sector of the Philippines of [our] readiness to assist in whichever way is considered appropriate in order to support you during this difficult time,” Mr. Rifai added.
Typhoon Pablo is considered as one of the most devastating typhoons to hit the country. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported last week that the death toll from the typhoon is already at 902. This number could get higher as the search and retrieval operations for the 635 missing still continue.
Secretary Jimenez said he is grateful for the UNWTO support and is looking forward to secure its help in rebuilding the sectors that were badly hit. “The recent events make us think of our most valuable resources. Our environment and our people are of utmost importance. The Department of Tourism is one with the country in offering prayers for those whose homes and livelihood have been destroyed, and more so for those who have lost their loved ones,” the Secretary expressed.
Meanwhile, the DOT has initiated its own relief operations and encouraged all industry members to join in. Tourism-oriented establishments may send their contributions to the Office of the Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation (TRCRG) at Room 205, DOT Building, T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila. They may also call 524-98-41 and 5238411 local 179 or 185.