Speech of President Aquino, Grand Opening of Microtel, Mall of Asia

President of the Philippines
Grand Opening of Microtel, Mall of Asia
[October 12, 2010, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City]

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Mr. Jose Mari del Rosario; Mr. Ramon del Rosario, Jr.; officials and employees of Microtel Development Corporation and Philippine Investment-Management, Inc.; honored guests; mga minamahal kong kababayan: magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.
It is a pleasure to be part of this event: the opening of the largest Microtel in the world—the Microtel Mall of Asia – Manila.
Tourism is truly one of the engines that boost our economy. Our administration, as I have said in my SONA, will bank on tourism and reinforce it further to propel our agenda of change. It was noted that more infrastructures are needed for this sector. For this reason, the Department of Tourism, together with the economic managers, has given due consideration in providing an enabling environment for greater private sector participation in tourism infrastructure projects. We are working at modernizing air services to open up accessibility in the country.
Under the headship of Secretary Alberto Lim, the Department of Tourism plans to keep this engine running. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9593, implementation of the mandatory accreditation of primary tourism enterprises such as accommodation facilities, travel agencies, tour operators, tour guides, tourist transport, are to be intensified. A launch of a new tourism brand for the country is also targeted for before the end of the year. This brand envisions the creation of greater interests and awareness on the most important tourism asset of the country—its people.
There is a rule of thumb that for every tourist that enters our country, it creates income equivalent to the per capita needs of one Filipino for one year. It means that for every tourist that comes in, one Filipino is endowed with the ability to provide for himself and his family. Your chain of world class economy hotels located all over the Philippines—in Baguio, Tarlac, Cavite, Batangas, Boracay, Davao, Cabanatuan, Palawan, and now, here in Manila—is assisting our government in fulfilling its foremost agenda: to generate employment for Filipinos. It is part of the infrastructure for tourism development.
From July to September 2010, about 12.69 billion pesos worth of tourism projects were recorded. Of these investment programs, 99.5% accrues to the accommodation sector, and 98% of this total investment portfolio is in the National Capital Region. We are committed in sustaining this pace and increase the visitors’ arrival to the country from the current 3 million to 6 million by 2016. Every hotel guest we welcome will not only provide work for the front desk and housekeepers. Other dedicated workers like our waiters, chefs, and drivers will also be given an opportunity to gain additional income out of this tourism upsurge we are promoting, not to mention the many other small and medium enterprises that will benefit from more tourists.
It is through these that the well-known warmth and genuine Filipino hospitality are fully demonstrated to foreign as well as domestic tourists, making their stay worthwhile and giving them more and more reasons to travel to and in our country. More than a traveler’s sanctuary, your hotels are gateways to our country’s rich diversity.
With each and everyone’s contribution to our tourism supply chain, our country’s development potential is enhanced. By way of partners like Microtel, our administration is confident that its transformative agenda will be accelerated.
For all of us here: let us continue to be the building blocks of our country’s growth; let us keep on working hand in hand to develop our motherland.
As we inaugurate this hotel, may more progress and prosperity enter your halls and doors.
Thank you and have a great evening.

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