Senator Sonny Angara called on the Department of Tourism (DOT) to encourage the country’s hotel operators to start providing toiletries and slippers from local sources in order to support the local industries.

Tourist arrivals to the Philippines continue to grow at a steady pace, with the DOT reporting 4.1 million foreign visitors to the country in the first half of this year.

With such a steady inflow of tourists, many of whom will most likely stay at the hotels, Angara said that this is an opportunity to promote quality Philippine-made products.

“We must continue to find ways to support our local industries and providing hotel guests with essentials such as slippers, soaps and shampoos made by Filipino entrepreneurs will go a long way in attaining this goal,” Angara said.

“When the demand goes up, the manufacturers will produce more, their businesses will grow and more jobs will be created. In the end, all of this will spark economic activity and we’ll even reduce our carbon footprint,” Angara added.

In order to entice the hotel owners to support this effort, Angara suggested providing them with some incentives.

Tourism undersecretary Edwin Enrile said the DOT will study the possibility of including the buy local initiative as a requirement for accreditation.

Angara urged the DOT to go one step further in promoting locally-produced goods by requiring the hotels to put up either Go Lokal! or One Town One Product (OTOP) stores.

The Go Lokal! store concept is an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry to provide MSMEs a venue to showcase their high-quality and innovative products and help them penetrate the local and even global markets.

OTOP stores, on the other hand, sell souvenirs or pasalubong sourced from different regions of the country.

Apart from the hotels, Angara said that these Go Lokal! and OTOP stores should also be in place in all of the airports of the country.

Angara has been advocating for an all out Tatak Pinoy or Made in the Philippines campaign to boost economic productivity and competitiveness, generate more decent jobs for Filipinos, particularly those in the countryside, and eradicate chronic poverty and inequality in the country.

The Tatak Pinoy campaign encourages innovation in order to produce high-value products that could be marketed globally. (senate.gov.ph)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/sonnyangara