Secretary Durano exudes optimism over Greet, Turismo Mismo programs

Tourism Secretary Joseph "Ace" Durano is optimistic that these twin programs of the Department of Tourism (DOT), GREET and TURISMO MISMO would boost the Philippine's prospect of becoming globally competitive tourist destination, it was gathered.

Foreign-tourists arrivals in the country have already reached the 3 million mark since he assumed the post as Tourism Secretary, the report also added.

Tourism is a gross dollar-earner industry that enhance economy growth of a country or a specific city in particular, hence, these twin programs, GREET which stands for Grassroots Entrepreneurship and Employment in Tourism and TURISMO MISMO (ang sagot sa kahirapan) would further strengthen our competitiveness in the international market with the active participation of the local residents. This would also generate employment in their respective areas.

GREET is a program that aims to extend livelihood opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs in eco-tourism while TURISMO MISMO would complement and continues the GREET Program. Existing stakeholders can use the grant to prove their products and services thru access capital and providing skills and knowledge, values formation, and other entitlements.

GREET target goals are: employment generation; livelihood creation; balanced ecology & environmental protection; promotion and marketing of eco-tourism sites as potential tourist destinations; and tourism development.

While TURISMO MISMO would promote and implement DOT campaigns for sustainable tourism; and provide access to capacity building, skills training, and livelihood conceptualization.

In Caraga Region, there are eight GREET grantees that include: 1. Grant A Scuba Professional One Complete Set of Dive Equipment for Daniel Dominic N. Calo in Agusan del Norte; 2. Agusan del Sur Eco-tourism Adventure for Arnel C. Pasilan in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; 3. Masao River Kayak for Butuan Global Forum, Inc.; 4. Snorkeling at the Vinapor Beach Park for Butuan Global Forum, Inc.; 5. Palay Travel and Tours Nature Escapade for Palay Travel & Tours; 6. Catering Services Project in Surigao City for Women in Service for Eco-tourism Association (WISE); 7. Day-asan Yong Entrepreneurs Eco-tours Project in Surigao City for SNCAT-IMSF Alumni; 8. R.E. Ecleo Sr. Adventure Program: Mangrove Sneaking for SNCAT-REESPC Alumni in Dinagat Islands.

According to these grantees, with the initial grants coming from the Department of Tourism, they are really thankful of the opportunity given to them and are hopeful that it would improve their lives and to sustain their respective projects in the promotion of the tourism industry in their areas. (Northern Mindanao Chronicle)

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