Department of Tourism Officials Extend Full Support at PATA Philippines Chapter Fundraising Gala

In a demonstration of solidarity with private sector stakeholders, officials from the Department of Tourism (DOT) attended a fundraising gala organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Philippines Chapter at the Manila Hotel on Friday evening, May 12. The event aimed to celebrate PATA’s golden year by raising funds through a fashion show for a cause dedicated to the restoration and rebuilding of communities in the province of Laguna.

PATA Philippines Chair Maria Paz Alberto announced during her speech that the local chief executives of Cavinti, Lumban, and Pagsanjan, Laguna, had united for the first time to collaborate on the rejuvenation of Pagsanjan Falls as a tourism destination and to support its local community.

Pagsanjan, with its proximity to Metro Manila, has been identified as a tourist magnet, especially for the South Korean market, currently the top source of international arrivals for the Philippines.

The gala, attended by approximately 400 guests from the hospitality and aviation industries, featured a fashion show for a cause to raise funds for the cause. Maria Paz Alberto explained the choice of Pagsanjan, emphasizing the opportunity to collaborate in creating a green and sustainable community, benefiting boatmen and their families who have faced challenges due to the decline in tourism.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed her full support for PATA’s advocacy to aid in the recovery of Pagsanjan Falls. Secretary Frasco pledged P200,000 from her and Deputy House Speaker Duke Frasco’s personal funds to support PATA’s initiatives in tourism education.

Secretary Frasco highlighted the crucial role of the private sector in the growth and recovery of the Philippine tourism industry. She emphasized the importance of listening to the actual facts on the ground from tourism stakeholders and frontliners to inform policymaking and program implementation.

Praising the instrumental role of PATA Philippines over the years, Secretary Frasco noted, “PATA Philippines was founded just a few years after the founding of the Department of Tourism. And since then, PATA in the Philippines has been instrumental not only in bringing attention to the Philippines but most importantly, in championing Philippine tourism all over the world.”

Manila Hotel President Atty. Joey Lina commended the DOT, led by Secretary Frasco, for steering the industry away from the pandemic’s ill effects. He highlighted the positive trend observed at Manila Hotel, noting a rebound in tourism for the first four months of 2023.

The gala showcased Filipino artistry through a fashion show with Secretary Frasco and her husband walking the finale in the creations of veteran fashion designer Renee Salud. Other esteemed attendees included PATA International former CEO Liz Ortiguera, TCP President Bob Zozobrado, and Philippine Airlines President and COO Capt. Stanley Ng.

Among the DOT officials present were Undersecretaries Shereen Yu-Pamintuan and Ferdinand “Cocoy” Jumapao, OIC-Undersecretary Verna Buensuceco, Assistant Secretary Maria Rica Bueno, and OIC-Assistant Secretary Warner Andrada.

Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit association internationally acclaimed for catalyzing the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region. It aims to enhance sustainable growth, value, and quality in collaboration with private and public sector members.