Picking our man
for the DOT
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The resignation of Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim after a very brief stint at the Department of Tourism can be viewed in two ways. It can be seen as a setback for the administration during this very turbulent times, and it can also be regarded as an opportunity to appoint someone who can put his heart and soul into the job, the way Lim doesn’t appear to have done.
From the very start of his takeover of the position, many doubts were already expressed over the fitness of Lim for the job. True, he is considered one of the best minds in the country as far as business is considered. But is business savvy the only attribute required by the very sensitive, and very potentially lucrative office such as that of tourism?
The doubts were reinforced with the initial mishap that was the adoption of a logo for the industry that was slammed by most Filipinos as not only uninteresting, but had also been discovered to be unoriginal, and an apparent look-alike of that of another country in Europe. It seems Lim never lived down the embarrassment the exposure caused, which even led to the resignation of one of his top assistants.
Now, more than at any other time in this country, the potentials of the tourism industry as an aid to our economic recovery has become very clear, indeed. We only have to look at the examples of others that had recovered and, in fact, doubled their income because of tourism to realize this. If we look around us, we would also see how much tourism has benefited and improved such countries in our neighborhood as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and even late-bloomer Vietnam.
With the resignation of Lim, the President is now faced with the problem of choosing the one who will replace him. Many names have cropped up, but not all of the personalities behind them could be considered shoo-ins for the post. The President, therefore, needs all of his perceptions and ability to judge characters in making the choice. On it will depend the prospect of whether our Tourism industry will finally rise or fall.*