Provincial Ordinance no. 18 series of 2020 otherwise known as the Tourism Code of the Province of Bataan sponsored by Board Member Romano del Rosario which also provides for the shared responsibilities of the national and local government units with regard to tourism development, has been unanimously approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Bataan in their recent session. Republic Act (R. A.) no. 9593 an Act declaring a national policy for tourism as an engine of investment, employment, growth and development is the basis of the said Ordinance.
Board Member del Rosario in his resolution said that it is high time that the Department of Tourism, in coordination with the different attached agencies, LGUs and private sectors, take cognizance in continuously updating existing national development plans in view of evolving needs and capabilities of LGU’s and the domestic tourism for global tourism market.
BM del Rosario also said that the Tourism Code of Bataan is in compliance with the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991 on the devolution of functions wherein the Department of Tourism transferred its licensing and regulatory powers over the operations and maintenance of tourism and tourism-related establishments (resorts, hotels, tourist inns, apartels) and travel agencies to the LGU’s.
Bataan, del Rosario added, was already at the height of becoming a world-class tourist destination but was devastated and plagued with problems when the unprecedented pandemic that hit the country. However, the recent visit of DoT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, the tourism activity in Bataan opened and further strengthened the province’s appeal as a tourism destination paving the way for an enhanced capability-building among LGU’s in the management of local tourism projects and initiatives, ensuring accessible and affordable destinations throughout the province, and a resilient tourism industry.