USAID/SURGE Project

Stakeholders from major tourism cities such as Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Legazpi, Tagbilaran, and Puerto Princesa advocated for concessional financing packages and more government support through an online roundtable discussion organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project on April 8, 2020. More than 20 private sector representatives operating tourism-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, theme parks, travel and tour agencies, transport services and local tourism councils participated in the virtual consultative session.

More than 30 communication officers from the local governments and water districts of Cities Development Initiative (CDI) cities of Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga and the province of Bohol gained more knowledge to strengthen emergency or crisis content creation and management through a virtual workshop organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project on April 7, 2020.

Protecting the Tourism Industry

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron | April 8, 2020

 

The challenge is to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the tourism industry and to mitigate the spread of the virus in Puerto Princesa City.  Tourism is the major economic driver of the city. It has generated more than PhP5.45 billion worth of revenues in 2019, with 1.2 million tourist arrivals and more than 2,100 MICE events. However, these figures dropped by 80 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

 

Twenty-eight (28) community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) associations in Puerto Princesa City developed sustainability and operational plans for 2020-2021 after participating in a workshop on business planning organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project in collaboration with the Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office on November 28 to 29, 2019.

Around 200 tourism stakeholders from tourism establishments, community-based sustainable tourism associations, academe, environment and conservation advocacy groups, and non-government organizations in Puerto Princesa City gained deeper understanding and formulated policy recommendations for nature-based tourism and biodiversity during a forum on November 7, 2019. The forum was organized by the Puerto Princesa City government, the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Partners Foundation, and supported by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project.

On November 8, 2019, the Puerto Princesa-Palawan Seaweed Network in Puerto Princesa City received PhP3.4 million-worth of loans from the Landbank of the Philippines. The loans will help the expansion of production of four seaweed associations in barangays Manalo, Luzviminda, and Babuyan to address the demand of seaweed from four supply agreements with several buyers and processors.

Around 200 tourism stakeholders from tourism establishments, community-based sustainable tourism associations, academe, environment and conservation advocacy groups, and non-government organizations in Puerto Princesa City gained deeper understanding and formulated policy recommendations for nature-based tourism and biodiversity during a forum on November 7, 2019. The forum was organized by the Puerto Princesa City government, the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Partners Foundation, and supported by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project.

Seventeen (17) community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) associations in Puerto Princesa City now have their respective five-year CBST Development and Management Plan after participating in a workshop on tourism development and management planning organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project on October 28 to 29, 2019. The 68 participants from the 17 CBST associations learned about the importance of sustainable development which helped them envision the changes in their communities in ten years.

USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project assists Puerto Princesa City’s Septage Management Committee and Technical Working Group in conducting household surveys, providing capacity building through septage management learning visits, and updating the water district’s septage feasibility study. On September 16 to 17, 2019, around 30 representatives from various offices of the city government and the water district participated in a social marketing training conducted by USAID/SURGE.

The city government of Puerto Princesa highlighted seaweed production and processing as among the city's priority investment areas during the Puerto Princesa Investment Forum held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on September 25, 2019. Mr. Maximo Ricohermoso, founding chairman of the Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP), presented the advantages of Puerto Princesa as a suitable location for seaweed growing and value-added processing.

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