Tourism accessibility bill hurdles House on final reading

MANILAA measure seeking to give road access to all tourism sites in the country hurdled third and final reading at the House of Representatives.

With 205 affirmative votes, the Lower House overwhelmingly passed on Monday House Bill 8143, or the "Tourism Sites Accessibility Act". There was no negative vote and no abstention.

The bill mandates the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to prioritize the construction of necessary infrastructures, particularly of roads and bridges, to ensure the accessibility of tourism sites in the country.

The bill also mandates the DPWH, along with the Department of Tourism (DOT), to prioritize the implementation of the Convergence Program for Enhancing Tourism Access.

The convergence program aims to facilitate efficient and more coordinated efforts to identify, evaluate, prioritize and implement technically-correct and politically-participative road access projects leading to tourist destinations.

1-Ang Edukasyon party-list Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr., the principal author of the measure, stressed the need to provide ample government support to tourism for it to continue generating income for the economy.

"One of the drawbacks of promoting tourism in our country is the lack of appropriate infrastructure, specifically good roads and bridges leading to many tourist destinations in the country," Belaro said.

"This bill seeks to make our tourist spots accessible to everybody by ensuring that all such tourist sites are connected, at the very least by an accessible road or a bridge," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency