MinDA inks MOA with DOT to craft tourism program

The Mindanao Development Authority has formally tied up with the Department of Tourism through a memorandum of agreement that would bring together agencies in crafting a tourism program for Mindanao.

The MOA was signed on Thursday at the Microtel Inn and Suites, Lanang, Davao City.

For DOT, the MOA was signed by tourism secretary Wanda Teo and DOT-ARMM regional secretary Ayesha Vanessa Hajar Dilangalen.

For MinDa, USec. Janet Lopoz, CESO I signed in behalf of MinDa chief Datu Hj Abul Khayr Alonto.

Reyzaldy Tan, MinDa director for Planning and Policy formulation, said the MOA is the actualization of the previously-signed memorandum of understanding between MinDa and DOT which will bring together agencies involved in crafting program towards an “integrated and globally competitive Mindanao”.

The MOA further sets the obligation of both parties, one of which is crafting the Mindanao Tourism Framework, according to Tan.

To kick-off, the Mindanao Development Corridors – Joint Planning and Programming succeeded the MOA signing event which was attended by provincial tourism officers from all over the island region.

According to Tan, the two-day MinDC-JPP served as platform for tourism officers to present their proposals for tourism development for 2017 and beyond which will focus on the biodiversity and ecotourism cluster to the pannel consists of DOT, MinDa and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

“After the presentations, the comments raised will be considered by the proponents for revisions,” added Tan.

Tan further explained that the proposals will then be validated by DOT, MinDa and will be turned over to TIEZA, the facility which funds LGU tourism proposals.

“We have at least P1 billion to fund the projects,” said Tan.

The director expressed optimism that the integration of agencies  will harmonize the criteria used in the assessment of proposals to shorten the validation process and implement the projects before the second quarter of 2017.

“Before, agencies have their own criteria that is why the processing takes a year,” recalled Tan.

For the number of projects to be considered, Tan said as long as the projects are feasible, the panel will not set limits to them.

MinDC-JPP is in line with Vision 2025, the BIMP-EAGA roadmap for development.