MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – The responsibilities of tourism players are no longer limited to planning tourist packages and organizing tours.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the calamities that have recently hit Cebu and the rest of the Central Visayas, they now feel the need to improve their Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) skills as well.
“As we restart tourism in the Central Visayas, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and given our experiences with natural calamities, local service providers are showing great concern for safety and security. customers,” said Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, regional tourism manager. said in a statement.
Most recently, DOT-7, in coordination with the Area Office of Civil Defense (OCD-7), conducted a two-day DRRM training.
They have already graduated the first batch of 80 trainees.
Staff from at least 40 DOT-7 accredited establishments and individual tourism service providers have joined the on-site training, while some have also opted for an online course.
Marlon Barrientos, DOT-7 representative on the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council 7, said there was “great interest” in the program.
He said many potential participants are now on the waiting list for similar future activities.
“The course was designed as a workshop to equip stakeholders with the knowledge to understand and assess the hazards and risks associated with disaster situations,” DOT-7 said.
Learning sessions were held with officers from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhilVolcs) and the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences of the Department of environment and natural resources (DENR-MGB).
“The program also included sessions on planning for disaster resilience, including a session on business continuity to provide better stability to the tourism sector,” DOT-7 said.
Some of the participants, Barrientos said, even plan to continue partnering with other implementing agencies for “advanced courses to reinforce skills acquired during the initial program.”
In the coming days, Tamano said, they also plan to bring the DOT-7 and OCD-7 collaboration to other parts of the region.
A similar course is planned for this month for accommodation and transport operators, travel agencies, restaurants and other tourism-related establishments in Bohol.
In addition to the DRRM course, DOT-7 has also listed other industry-relevant activities to be implemented as part of the Tourism Industry Skills Training Program in 2022.
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