The Department of Tourism (DOT) expressed appreciation for the steps taken by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in clearing up streets and sidewalks in Divisoria and other areas in the country’s capital city, noting that this would help make destinations more accessible to tourists.
“The efforts of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is very much appreciated in making the areas more accessible to tourists because we are aiming to provide our tourists with a more diverse tourist offerings here in Manila,” said DOT Assistant Secretary Roberto Albado III in an economic briefing at the Malacañan Palace.
“So just imagine if our tourists can walk around the streets of Manila and at the same time enjoy the food in Binondo at a more organized manner,” he added.
Alabado pointed out that Manila has always been a premier destination of tourists who, upon landing, would immediately visit several sites including Intramuros, Rizal Park, Divisoria, and Binondo.
He described Divisoria as “a shopping paradise”, particularly for Southeast Asian tourists.
Meanwhile, Alabado also addressed concerns on the relocation of vendors in Divisoria, noting that his department continues to work closely with the Manila mayor’s office to ensure that they get to keep their livelihood.
“The Secretary has ordered or instructed the regional office of NCR (National Capital Region), the Intramuros Administration (IA) to work closely with the mayor’s office so that we can coordinate our efforts,” Alabado said.
“This is a local thing–the relocation of our street vendors but as we have always said, the more tourists that we can provided access to Divisoria, Binondo and Intramuros the more economic activities that can be spurred in those local destinations,” he added.
Moreno also continues to hold dialogues with vendors and other stakeholders to determine areas they can sell in without getting evicted.
According to Alabado, the tourism industry was responsible for creating 5.4 million jobs in 2018.
“Livelihoods spurred by tourism have a ripple effect as workers are able to support families, put their children to school, and give them a secure future,” Alabado said. (PNA)