Makati, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has identified top tourism proposals from 15 local government units (LGUs) poised to receive a combined amount of 180 Million pesos in tourism projects as part of the agency’s flagship program, the Tourism Champions Challenge (TCC).  

The TCC is a transformative tool dedicated to promoting nationwide tourism development while empowering Local Chief Executives/Mayors to draw from the wellspring of their local communities to contribute to the overall Philippine experience of every traveler. 

With support from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), this challenge aspires to create exceptional tourism projects that enhance local competencies, propelling the nation to new heights on the global tourism stage. 

A former local chief executive herself, having been elected as Mayor of the town of Liloan in Cebu for three consecutive terms before taking the helm of the DOT, Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco underscored the necessity of ensuring the strengthened tourism governance between and among the national government and the local government units. 

“The National Tourism Development Plan 2023 to 2028 (NTDP) approved by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. acknowledges that in order for our tourism industry to be inclusive and globally competitive, we must closely collaborate with our local government units to hasten the transformation of communities towards tourism excellence,” said Secretary Frasco. 

“The Tourism Champions Challenge is a flagship program of the Marcos Administration with the Department of Tourism and TIEZA providing a mechanism for our dedicated and passionate local chief executives to access national government funding to address  critical tourism issues, the resolution of which can serve the intention to transform the country into a tourism powerhouse in Asia.” the DOT chief added. 

The TCC witnessed an overwhelming response, with close to a hundred submissions pouring in from LGUs across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These proposals underwent a rigorous evaluation process, ensuring fairness and impartiality, facilitated by the DOT Regional Offices and the TCC Committee. 

Knowledge Partner PricewaterhouseCoopers Philippines (PWC) provided expert insight and meticulous scrutiny to the selection process of LGU proposals that hold the promise of enriching local communities while contributing significantly to the national economy. 

The shortlisted LGUs will participate in the capacity building activity which aims to augment the capability of the participants in project development and management and to enhance the technical content of the proposal through a series of lectures, discussions, workshops, and presentations. 

From the identified 15 LGUs, with five coming from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the proposals will be ranked according to relevance and potential contribution to the tourism industry. 

The LGU which will land the first place will receive Php 20 million worth of tourism projects, the second placer will receive Php 15 Million, Php 10 Million for the third placer,  Php 8 Million, and 7 Million, for the fourth and fifth placer, respectively, for a total of Php 180 million. 

The  proposals will be officially awarded upon approval of the TIEZA Board, through an official signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the said LGUs, DOT and the TIEZA, for the swift facilitation of the project inauguration, leading to the turnover of the implemented project to the LGU. 

“President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. early on in his administration has expressed his belief in the tourism industry’s ability to become one of the country’s major economic pillars post-pandemic. As we pursue our plans and programs under the NTDP, the DOT commits to continuing a whole-of-nation approach to tourism, with optimism that the genuine love that all of us have for the Philippines can spur a unified approach towards tourism governance,” Secretary Frasco said, echoing the Marcos administration’s commitment to shared tourism governance between LGUs, the national government, and tourism stakeholders. 



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