Pasay City, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) has confirmed the ad interim appointment of Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco on September 27, following the endorsement made by the CA Committee on Tourism and Economic Development.
“At this time when our country’s tourism is trying to get back up from the devastating effects of the pandemic, we need someone at the helm of the Department of Tourism who can steer it with a clear vision and roadmap, not only to attract tourists to pre-pandemic levels, but to exceed the same. Secretary Frasco fits the bill quite well. She has proven herself to be well-equipped in terms of experience, qualification, and distinction,” remarked CA Committee on Tourism and Economic Development Chairperson Rep. Jose Gay G. Padiernos (Party List – GP PARTY), who moved for the CA’s confirmation of Secretary Frasco’s appointment, and was seconded by CA Vice Chairperson Rep. Ramon Guico Jr. (5th Dist. Pangasinan).
CA Members Senators Christopher “Bong” T. Go and Loren Legarda, as well as Representatives Lani Mercado-Revilla (2nd Dist., Cavite), Albert S. Garcia (2nd Dist., Bataan), Luis Raymund “LRay” F. Villafuerte Jr. (2nd Dist., Camarines Sur), and Manuel T. Sagarbarria (2nd Dist., Negros Oriental) also manifested their support to the plenary confirmation of Secretary Frasco’s appointment.
In the deliberations of the CA Committee on Tourism and Economic Development, Rep. Villafuerte, who was a former Governor of Camarines Sur, commended President Marcos, Jr. for his appointment of local government unit (LGU) officials such as Secretary Frasco, who prior to being hand-picked by the President to lead the DOT, won a fresh mandate for her third and final term as Mayor of Liloan, Cebu.
“Now that you are in the helm of a national government [position], you are in the position to attend to the needs of the LGUs, and they can be a strong partner in strongly pushing tourism. We fully support you. We are very happy that you are there,” said the lawmaker.
Seconding Rep. Villafuerte, Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri backed Secretary Frasco’s appointment, noting the tourism chief’s strong performance “I feel that you will do a great job. It is commendable that we hear the tourism chief’s proposal without reading them. It’s very obvious that the good Secretary knows her wares. She is very knowledgeable on the topics,” he added.
“It’s nice and refreshing to see that the President chose somebody from the local government,” enthused the Senate President.
Other members of the CA Committee on Tourism and Economic Development including Senators Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay, Grace Poe, Francis N. Tolentino, and ex officio members Minority Floor Leader Sen. Allan Peter S. Cayetano, Assistant Minority Floor Leader Rep. Johnny Ty Pimentel (2nd Dist., Surigao del Sur), also signified their support to the appointment of Tourism Secretary Frasco during the deliberations, with some also airing their suggestions and recommendations to the DOT’s undertakings.
Expressing her gratitude foremost to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and to the members of the CA, and the CA Committee on Tourism and Economic Development, Secretary Frasco referred to the confirmation of her appointment as a timely blessing that presented itself on the same day of the commemoration of the annual World Tourism Day.
“It is both an honor and a privilege to be bestowed the responsibility of steering a sector as pivotal as the tourism industry that is a source, not only of pride, but more importantly, of livelihood of millions of Filipinos across the country,” enthused Secretary Frasco, who gave an overview of the initiatives that the DOT has accomplished in the roughly three months that she became its Secretary.
“As I have already manifested early in my appointment, I intend to be a Listening Secretary throughout my term. Under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the Department of Tourism shall be consultative, collaborative, and inclusive in its efforts to attain the overarching vision of President Marcos, Jr. for tourism to become one of the major pillars for economic growth in the Philippines, and to lift up the industry to a certain level that will allow its benefits and development to encompass all parts of the country,” assured the Tourism Secretary.
Prior to her appointment as DOT chief, Secretary Frasco was a multi-awarded Mayor of Liloan, Cebu, and the spokesperson of Vice President Sara Z. Duterte during the 2022 National Elections. A lawyer by profession, she practiced international arbitration and commercial litigation, and taught law in reputable law schools before entering public service in 2016.
Committing to bring her local government perspective, and a collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to the short, medium, and long term development of the country’s tourism industry, Secretary Frasco appealed for the partnership and cooperation of all tourism stakeholders in the next six years.
“I will continue to reach out to all our tourism stakeholders in the public and private sectors, whom we consider our invaluable partners, to take part in this shared tourism governance with the DOT so as to ensure that our policies and programs are aimed towards rebuilding and transforming Philippine tourism into a more sustainable, practical, and resilient industry in the face of the pandemic and other disasters,” she said.