BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance establishing the Barangay Tourism, Arts and Culture Council to achieve the newly-established identity of the city as one of the Creative Cities in the world.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated it is a policy of the local government to advocate a culture of tourism and promotion of a domestic marketing campaign that aims to afford the city a better understanding and appreciation of the tourism industry, and its role as a stakeholder with a responsibility of building a sound tourism environment to spur socio-economic activity in the countryside and uplift the dignity and livelihood of all Filipinos.
Under the proposed ordinance, the Barangay Tourism, Arts and Culture Council shall be composed of people from the private sector and barangay officials from the concerned barangays on a 40-60 proportion made up by the government and private sector, respectively.
The ordinance added that the barangay officials who will comprise the 40 percent membership of the council shall be chosen and appointed by the barangay captain concerned while the 60 percent membership from the private sector shall be filled up by invitation from the barangay unit concerned through its barangay officials.
According to the ordinance, the members and officers of the council shall not receive additional compensation or emoluments from the government and that the officers shall be elected by election by the members of the council.
The council shall be composed of a Chairperson who will be the punong barangay and co-chaired by the chairperson of the barangay committee on tourism with the barangay secretary, barangay treasurer, and representatives from the academe, business, and existing associations in the barangay as members.
The ordinance stipulated that the chairperson shall sit in such capacity for the duration of his term as punong barangay and that his appointees shall hold office with the Barangay Tourism, Arts and Culture Council co-terminus with the tenure of the appointing punong barangay.
The ordinance defined the functions of the council to take care of the tourism aspect for its local community, to identify its cultural heritage, place or site with tourist values, undertake steps to promote and preserve the identified cultural heritage or site for tourism and develop a culturally sensitive tourism plan for the preservation of local sites and traditions.
The ordinance emphasized that the Barangay Tourism, Arts and Culture Council shall be self-sustaining and its overhead expenditures shall be covered by its own funds which may be sourced from private foundations, nongovernment organizations and other similar organizations.
Yangot admitted that the city has become the favorite tourism hub of the north considering that its economy has been boosted by the tourism business and activities.
Further, he noted the vast arts and culture thriving in the locality has placed the city at the center of the world map after it was able to be cited as one of the Creative Cities by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
By Dexter A. See