A recent assessment of the tourism industry in the country led to revelation that Philippines is yet to fulfill its considerable potential and establish itself as a premier tourist destination in Asia, taking advantage of the increasing development of the Asia Pacific region into one of the world’s fastest growing tourist regions.
To give an impetus to tourism, the Philippines government has adopted five broad policies and six strategic programs. They are:
- Focusing on agricultural modernization
- Leveling the playing field in terms of access to economic opportunities
- Strengthening the capacity of the State
- Sharpening the country’s global competitiveness
- Using foreign policy in aid of development
- The related strategic programs comprise:
- Modernization of the rural sector
- Creating a world class service sector
- Promoting domestic competition
- Creating magnets for foreign investment and development aid
- Enhancing the assets of the poor
- Modernizing the political and government administrative systems.
It is the intention of the Government of the Philippines to re-position the country in the regional and long haul international tourism markets, moving it into a path of higher growth through a number of measures. These include continuing to improve accessibility to key tourist destinations, liberalizing civil aviation, facilitating investment into tourism, upgrading existing tourism products, investing in human resources development and conducting niche and mass marketing campaigns. Through these measures, it is hoped that a ‘tourism culture’ will be instilled among Filipinos.
As the backbone of development of any economy, the provision of infrastructure is a prerequisite towards attaining economic growth and improving the country's productive capacity. The anticipated growth of the economy is expected to exert more pressure on infrastructure support facilities.
There are two major objectives for the infrastructure sector in the long-term:
- To provide adequate, convenient, fast and safe facilities and competitively priced services to meet the primary needs of the population and
- To provide support facilities for the productive sectors and act as catalyst of development in desired areas.
The following are the general policies and strategies to be pursued in the next three years in support of infrastructure development under the Medium-Term Philippines Development Plan. (MTPDP):
- Further encourage increased and broad-based private sector investments in the provision, operation and maintenance of infrastructure facilities through but not limited to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme.
- Improve coordination among national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), the private sector and affected communities in the formulation and implementation of infrastructure plans and projects.
- Ensure provision of adequate funds for required capital investment and operations and maintenance (O & M) with priority on the latter.
- Adopt the integrated area development approach in the planning, programming and implementation of complementary support infrastructure for regional growth centers, tourism areas, and identified poverty areas.
- Give priority to appropriate sanitation infrastructure facilities (e.g. toilets, water supply and sewerage) in Metro Manila and other urban centers, especially in depressed areas.