The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) successfully implemented the Course on Sustainable Tourism for Local Economic Development as part of the Senator Tolentino Adaptive Governance and Innovation for Local Executives (AGILE) Program. Held on March 7-8, 2024, at Savoy Hotel Manila in Pasay City, the course brought together 16 local chief executives and key functionaries from different provinces, cities, and municipalities.

(From L to R): Silang, Cavite Mayor Atty. Alston Kevin A. Anarna, Salug, Zamboanga del Norte Vice Mayor Saul L. Maraon, Lupi, Camarines Sur Vice Mayor Noel A. Agravante, Bohol Vice Governor Dionisio Victor A. Balite, PhD, Libertad, Misamis Oriental Vice Mayor Sharon M. Ballangan, Ibaan, Batangas Vice Mayor Juvy M. Mendoza, DAP Director Jannis T. Montañez, Resource Persons Ms. Ma. Carmela M. Ibañez, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija Tourism Officer Ms. Dyan A. Santos, Iba, Zambales Vice Mayor Joan D. Ballesteros, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro Councilor Imee Elaine G. Abeleda, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte Tourism Officer Ms. Patrecia V. Porillo, Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo, Floridablanca, Pampanga Vice Mayor Michael L. Galang, Alfonso, Cavite Tourism Officer Mr. Louis Miguel Ilustrisimo, Nunungan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Marcos M. Mamay and Garcia Hernandez, Bohol Mayor Filadelfo Jess III V. Baja.

DAP Senior Vice President Magdalena L. Mendoza delivered the opening remarks, underscoring the crucial role of local leaders in navigating the challenges and opportunities within the tourism sector.

Meanwhile, Senator Francis Tolentino extended his warm welcome and commendations to the participants virtually, urging them to leverage the knowledge and experiences gained as a catalyst for innovation within their respective local government units (LGUs).

The course featured seasoned experts who shared insights on sustainable tourism practices and digitalization. Among the resource persons were Ramil Basuel from the Department of Tourism, Dr. Ma. Criselda B. Badilla and Ma. Carmela M. Ibañez from the Asian Institute of Tourism-University of the Philippines Diliman, and Felix Delos Santos, tourism officer of the Municipal Government of Malay, Aklan.

These speakers emphasized the indispensable role of LGUs in driving economic development through sustainable tourism while challenging participants to champion and promote sustainability initiatives in their respective LGUs.

This two-day local course, implemented by the DAP’s Center for Governance, served as a precursor to the Foreign Study Mission on Local Governance and Innovation for Economic Development held in Thailand on March 10-15, 2024, in collaboration with the Foundation for Thailand Productivity Institute.