Current events

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Current events

  1. 1. DOT on the Rizal Park Independence Flagpole Project Published: August 29, 2013. Latest update: August 29, 2013. The Independence Flagpole, where the Philippine flag was hoisted on 4 July 1946 commemorating the culmination of the Filipino people’s quest for national independence, is located at its original site in Rizal Park—a major tourist attraction in the City of Manila and an important site in Philippine history. Designed and built at 150 feet high, the flagpole was damaged by a typhoon in 1995 and was never restored to its 150 ft height since then. The flagpole renovation was proposed in 2011 as one of the commemorative projects of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT), for the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal. The goal of the project is to restore the Independence Flagpole to its original height and reassert its importance in Philippine history. Funding and technical plans were requested from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which carefully studied and vetted the renovation project together with the NPDC as reasonable and consistent with prevailing market prices. The agencies were further instructed to make sure that the new structure could withstand severe weather conditions, so that the Independence flag shall never fly lower again. The project went through a public bidding in the amount of P 7,865,425.30 which covers the removal of structures, reinforcement of steel bar, concrete works, carpentry works, tile works, pole and casing, construction safety and health, project billboard, construction site perimeter fence, and construction of field office. Restoring the Independence flagpole, which currently stands at 105 feet, to its original height of 150 feet requires the strengthening of the structural integrity and stability of the flagpole base, which involves a mechanically assisted pulley and a stately marble base. The project is currently implemented by the Manila South Engineering District of the DPWH and is expected to be completed ‘in time for the 100th celebration of the National Monument of Dr. Jose Rizal on 30 December 2013. It also dovetails with the redevelopment plan of Roxas Boulevard linear park and promenade.
  2. 2. Roxas Boulevard Redevelopment Project hailed by stakeholders Published: August 22, 2013. Latest update: August 22, 2013. The Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) unveiled joint plans to redevelop Roxas Boulevard into a park complex by 2015 in a presentation to stakeholders held on August 16, 2013, at the Diamond Hotel. The event was presided by Secretary of Tourism Ramon R. Jimenez Jr., Secretary of Public Works and Highways Rogelio I. Singson, and the architect for the project, Mr. Paulo Alcazaren. More than 100 stakeholders from the government, private sector involved in property development and other business establishments located along the boulevard, and media attended the presentation. “The Roxas Boulevard Park Redevelopment project is a convergence between national government agencies, local government units, and the private sector. This is not just a beautification project. This program will reestablish the importance of Manila as a capital city and enhance the value of property all over the district that it crosses. This is a business plan aimed at restoring and enhancing Manila as a viable capital for tourism and business,” Secretary Tourism Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. said. The Roxas Boulevard Park project that spans almost eight kilometers and the three cities of Manila, Pasay, and Parañaque will begin with cleaning debris from previous redevelopments, hardscape and softscape improvements, soil replacement, and planting of endemic greeneries. The project will also involve paving pedestrian walkways and bike lanes, transforming a segment of the road into a commercial strip to spur economic activity in one of the most important and historic thoroughfares in the country. Fr. Victorino Cueto, rector of the Baclaran Church located at the southern end of the road, welcomed the initiative and said it would benefit the devotees especially the more than 80,000 who flock the church every Wednesday. “I am really happy about the plan and the vision,” exclaimed Patrick Pineda, president of a townhouse-owners association. He said there are many problems along the boulevard that needs to be solved such as the clearing of waterways and parking.
  3. 3. Architect Paulo Alcazaren, lead consultant of PGAA Creative Design, highlighted that among the economic and tourism benefits of revitalizing Roxas Boulevard include (a) an increase in property values along the improved Roxas Boulevard Park by 5-10 percent in two to five years and about 10-15 percent after three years (b) improved traffic and circulation in surrounding districts (c) more customers and tourists to the districts’ commercial establishments and (d) a new face of Metro Manila as the capital of the Philippines. He also cited Alicante Esplanade in Spain, Champs Élysées in France, Orchard Road in Singapore, and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. as some of the best practices and inspiration for streetscape improvement. Alcazaren’s group was responsible for the increased pedestrian walkability along Ayala Avenue in Makati’s Central Business District, Iloilo River Esplanade in Iloilo City, and other numerous park projects in Southeast Asia including Singapore and Malaysia. The representative from Max’s Restaurant, Ms. Edralin Estipona, was thankful for the said redevelopment plan as it is expected to increase activity in the area, which means more customers and more business for the restaurant. It was also viewed as a way to help preserve a piece of their history as the Baclaran branch found along Roxas Boulevard was the first Max’s Restaurant in the country. I n a separate email sent by Ms. Maryjo Feraren, Marketing Head of The Aristocrat, she said, “In our 77 years of business, we have always celebrated Filipino culture through the food we serve and the values we espouse as a corporation. We are delighted to hear about the current project of the DOT and DPWH that aims to bring about a better Manila.” The creation of a shopping street in the Roxas Boulevard Park aims to broaden the revenue impact of the place, as well as increase the value of property in the area. “We envision the current Roxas Boulevard Park service roads to be a commercial or shopping road. We want to convert the service roads as an events place and strip of night cafes. We are also thinking of creating something like that in Makati-Ayala CBD where owners of commercial establishments themselves have put together an organization just to help in the preparation and enforcement of rules because they are the ones affected,” Secretary Rogelio Singson said. Both Secretaries Jimenez and Singson appealed to stakeholders in the private sector to support the project to maximize the business impact along the boulevard. There will also be a series of meetings and consultations with the local government units concerned to hammer down solutions to possible common problems in the area such as security, billboards, illegal, and ambulant vendors. “The most
  4. 4. successful tourist destinations in the country are the ones with highly participatory and collaborative local government and private sector,” Secretary Jimenez added. “The Roxas Boulevard Redevelopment project is not the final solution to the problems in Manila. It aims to provide a clear opportunity for improvement and an impetus for further development by stakeholders, LGUs, and people involved. It is meant to restore the boulevard to the people it was built to serve. This is our boulevard,” Secretary Jimenez concluded.
  5. 5. DOT, DSWD, and USAID launch One-Step Project Published: August 8, 2013. Latest update: August 8, 2013. The Department of Tourism (DOT) has inked a partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony held last 5 August 2013. The convergence program, called The One-Step Project, seeks to improve the lives of the poor with more direct interventions through tourism. The One-Step Project is a step to include the poor at the start of the development process and integrate communities, including but not limited to the beneficiaries of DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid), in the tourism value chain. Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said the project aims to alleviate poverty by improving the “reach” and “power” of our people and to be given opportunities to succeed. “The eradication of poverty begins with the restoration of trust in leadership,” the tourism chief added. The One-Step Project taps the potential of the 13 million poor Filipinos and the 2.1 million Pantawid households in nine priority tourism clusters. It aims to identify the poor households with greater propensity for success, particularly those living in the tourism clusters that host more than 21 million domestic and foreign tourists, and enroll them in tourism enterprises either as part of a destination community or asupplier community. Under this partnership, the DSWD, through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), will help DOT translate the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) into a community-driven eco-tourism development plan to ensure inclusive economic growth. The DSWD SLP provides opportunities to its underprivileged participants to be self-reliant by engaging in income-generating activities. “Tourism has been identified as a major economic driver to spur job creation, income, and revenue generation, and more importantly to spread the benefits to the countryside. This project provides institutional links to ensure effective implementation. It is providing the poor employment and business opportunities with long-term benefits. That brings much more stability in governance and raises the emotional quotient of our nation. Inclusiveness is a strategy, not a goal,” Secretary Jimenez said. According to USAID Philippines Mission Director Gloria Steele, the deeper support towards inclusive growth is a major component of the bilateral agreement of the United States and Philippine governments.
  6. 6. DSWD Secretary Corazaon “Dinky” J. Soliman thanked the DOT and USAID for strengthening the Pantawid program, the government’s conditional cash transfer endeavor, as a vital poverty-reduction and community empowerment initiative. Using the financial support from the USAID Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project, a national technical working group (TWG) will provide the general framework of the project, including the identification of the major activities to be conducted and funded. The One- Step Project will be implemented with support from an organizational structure composed of national and regional TWGs. The national TWG is composed of the Champions, DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin and DSWD Undersecretary Parisaya Taradji; and Chairperson, DOT Assistant Secretary Rolando Canizal. TWG members include Director Honorita Bayudan, Director Georgina Ann Hernandez, and Angela Mari Ferrer from DSWD; Director Rica Bueno, Phoebe Areño, and Alex Macatuno from DOT. The REID Foundation serves as its technical secretariat, while the regional TWG is composed of the regional directors of the DSWD and DOT, in coordination with other regional offices and their respective local government units (LGUs). Articles retrieved from: http://www.gov.ph/section/briefing-room/department-of-tourism/
  7. 7. DSWD Secretary Corazaon “Dinky” J. Soliman thanked the DOT and USAID for strengthening the Pantawid program, the government’s conditional cash transfer endeavor, as a vital poverty-reduction and community empowerment initiative. Using the financial support from the USAID Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project, a national technical working group (TWG) will provide the general framework of the project, including the identification of the major activities to be conducted and funded. The One- Step Project will be implemented with support from an organizational structure composed of national and regional TWGs. The national TWG is composed of the Champions, DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin and DSWD Undersecretary Parisaya Taradji; and Chairperson, DOT Assistant Secretary Rolando Canizal. TWG members include Director Honorita Bayudan, Director Georgina Ann Hernandez, and Angela Mari Ferrer from DSWD; Director Rica Bueno, Phoebe Areño, and Alex Macatuno from DOT. The REID Foundation serves as its technical secretariat, while the regional TWG is composed of the regional directors of the DSWD and DOT, in coordination with other regional offices and their respective local government units (LGUs). Articles retrieved from: http://www.gov.ph/section/briefing-room/department-of-tourism/

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