AIT facilitates poll
After two years of initial struggle and bitter rift with the Department of Tourism (DoT), the Tourism Congress—the private sector-led consultative body of the department mandated by RA 9593—convened on November 12 at the Philippine International Convention Center to elect its new set of officers, this time involving the Institute as commission on elections.
The first election on November 2009 under Secretary Ace Durano was haunted by accusations of midnight appointment and marked the start of the legal battle within the industry against the tourism law’s existing implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
Accusations on the 2009 Tourism Congress revolved around the issue of involving only 50 association representatives rather than the 1,000 accredited enterprises as members of the Congress.
Friday’s elections produced Celine Clemente (Cordym Travel and Tours) as president, Mario Mamon (Enchanted Kingdom) as executive vice-president, Anthony de Leon (Baguio Country Club) as vice-president for Luzon, Hans Hauri (Marco Polo Cebu) for Visayas, Mary Ann Montemayor (Vella Margarita Hotel) for Mindanao.
Other officers include Marisa Nallana as secretary, Alice San Juan as assistant secretary, Fidel Malaca as treasurer, and Michelle Solon as public relations officer.
The UP AIT group, led by Dean Miguela Mena, facilitated the elections in the morning.The faculty present were Prof. Victoria Nañagas, Prof. Vanni Legaspi, Dr. Edieser Dela Santa, Prof. Richard Philip Gonzalo, and former deans Prof. Reil Cruz and Prof. Evangeline Ortiz. Staff members Ms. Helen Pojas, Ms. Nenita Arzadon, and Ms Annie Cruz were also included.
They were assisted by seven AIT students—EA Mendoza, Joyce Anne Flores, Espher Ferrer, Nicole Angeles, Michelle Mañalac, Adrian Salumbides, and Kiro Opulencia.
Mañalac, after the event, had this to say, “Upon seeing the enthusiasm of the new board and when [Secretary Ramon] Jimenez concluded the congress with the statement of ‘Get out. Get the world go to your country!’, I see a brighter hope for Philippine tourism. Through the cooperation within the entities, I’m sure for fair play and interdependent sectors working for progress.”
Most of the students were involved in two international corporate events in May and October.