The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday (Sept. 05) affirmed its support to the Marcos administration’s whole-of-nation and whole-of-government approach towards ensuring peace and security in the Philippines, laying out its full cooperation and support to the strategies of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The statement comes after Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco took her oath as one of the Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) in the ceremony administered by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. during the 2nd NTF-ELCAC Execom Meeting on 31 August 2023, that will head the various Joint Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (JRTF-ELCAC) per region.
The NTF-ELCAC Execom Resolution No. 1 formalized the appointment of Vice President Sara Z. Duterte as the Co-Vice Chairperson of the NTF-ELCAC, and the designation of the CORDS for each JRTF-ELCAC, with Secretary Frasco designated as CORDS for the JRTF in Region VII. The Secretary hails from the province of Cebu.
“The approval of the NTF-ELCAC Execom Resolution No. 1 is a tacit manifestation of the enduring commitment of the Marcos administration to upholding lasting peace and economic prosperity. As the CORDS for the JRTF in Central Visayas, we see this as an opportunity for wider collaboration with our partners and stakeholders in Central Visayas to further our tourism gains” Secretary Frasco said.
Among the primary duties and responsibilities of each CORDS, according to the resolution, include assistance on the aspect of articulating the region’s concerns and perceptions in the Cabinet, with the other Departments, the Office of the President and other concerned agencies.
The CORDS lead per region shall likewise assist the President in the speedy, efficient, and orderly resolution of problems in government operations in his/her assigned region, as well as preside over joint meetings of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) to harmonize peace, security, and development efforts in the assigned region.
Likewise, the CORDS shall ensure the implementation of all programs, projects, and activities of the national government, information dissemination, as well as conduct of consultations with local officials and the private sector in his/her region of assignment.
At present, Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo of the Armed Forces of the Philippines – Visayas Command and Police Regional Office (PRO-7 Regional Director) PB Gen. Jerry Bearis both sit as Vice Chairpersons of the RPOC 7, while the chair position is yet to be filled.
Meanwhile, the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 is chaired by Bohol Governor Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado, and co-chaired by Mr. Kenneth C. Cobonpue.
To familiarize the newly-designated CORDS with their respective roles as heads of the JRTFs, the NTF-ELCAC conducted a CORDS Orientation for the officials shortly after their oathtaking.
Since assuming her role as DOT Chief and even before taking on her new role as CORDS for the JRTF in Region VII, Secretary Frasco has been actively pursuing the equalization of tourism product development across regions, promoting lesser-known destinations, and through the Department’s convergence with Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Tourism (DOT) at Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the reopening of Mindanao–an area that has been negatively affected by past skirmishes–to tourism.