Gordon: Open new Silay airport,
convert old site into tourism
BY CARLA GOMEZ
Senator Richard Gordon yesterday called on Western Visayas not to fall into a pall of gloom following the bombing in the House of Representatives that left four dead and nine injured, but to continue to remain focused on its tourism thrusts.
“If Manila stumbles, it is the turn of Western Visayas to fight on and spread the sunshine of tourism in the Philippines ,” said Gordon, who spoke at the WV Tourism Assembly at the Business Inn in Bacolod City .
Gordon also called for an end to arguments over the opening of the new Bacolod–Silay Airport and for the province to maximize its use right away to boost tourism in Negros Occidental.
He said to sustain two airports – the Bacolod airport and the new one in Silay, is probably not the right direction.
Gordon suggested that the site of the old Bacolod airport be converted to create a new tourism boom area in the city.
At the same time he lauded the tourism thrust of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the growth of the MassKara Festival.
He also called on Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella and the rest of the country's congressmen to pass a tourism bill in the House that will ensure funding for the promotion of Philippine tourism internationally.
Promotion of tourism is necessary to draw the tourists to the country, he said.
“Tourism is a magnificent industry, it is a catch all basin that provides opportunities for those who are willing to risk it,” he said.
“We must walk forward never mind the bombing,” he said.
Gordon, who supervised Red Cross assistance to the bombing victims Tuesday night, said he condoles with the victims and condemns the dastardly act but “we cannot have a pity party and loose our focus for the country”.
“We must not put on a sad face, we must have a happy face and keep the culture of tourism alive in the country,” said Gordon, who called the Visayas the beach capital of Asia .
We must destroy myth and the walls in our mind that we cannot conquer the world. We should not take on the doom and gloom scenario, what we have is the resoluteness and we must never lose our stride, Gordon said.
“We must be focused, fast, friendly, flexible and forward looking at all times,” Gordon said.
Gordon also called for respite from negative news about the Philippines so that the rest of the world can also see its good side.
Participants at the WV Tourism Assembly were welcomed by Leonardia and Board Member Edgardo Acuña, representing Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Marañon.
Also at the assembly were Tourism Undersecretaries Salvador Sarabia Jr. and Oscar Palabyab.*CPG