08 April 2015

President Aquino declares 2015 as ‘Visit the Philippines Year’
President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed Proclamation No. 991, declaring 2015 as ‘Visit the Philippines Year’, as the country gears up for the hosting of this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.

The proclamation, which was signed by the President last March 30, stated that the APEC Forum and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Tourism Forum in 2016 will both promote the country as a host for meetings, conventions and exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific.

Proclamation No. 991 also recognizes the need to consolidate the activities of the public and private sectors into one Calendar of Events to showcase the outstanding work of Filipinos in music and arts, lifestyle and entertainment, sports and adventure, business, and history and culture, as well as unveil the many historic treasures, natural wonders and unforgettable adventures of the country.

The proclamation acknowledges that tourism can be used to mobilize resources to enhance infrastructure and product development, generate employment and suitable investments; and serve as a platform for closer collaboration between the public and private sectors, and the international community in hosting events that attract international visitors and showcase local talents and skills.

To support the celebration of the Visit the Philippines Year (VPY) 2015, all government agencies are directed to submit to the Department of Tourism (DOT), through the Tourism Promotions Board, their lists of international and local events and activities for inclusion in the VPY 2015 Calendar of Events; and use the VPY 2015 logo in all their promotional materials.

All Philippine embassies and consular offices, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry and DOT foreign offices are instructed to ensure the publicity and dissemination of information regarding VPY 2015, while the Postmaster General shall design, print and issue a special stamp.

The private sector, especially companies involved in hotel and lodging, travel and tours, transportation, retail and souvenirs, and restaurants are encouraged to support VPY 2015 by developing relevant tour programs and packages for both foreign and local tourists; and all public and private schools and universities are encouraged to initiate projects and events related to the theme of VPY 2015.

Under the proclamation, all other government departments, bureaus, and offices, as well as all local government units are also enjoined to support and cooperate with the Department of Tourism.

With regards to funding, all concerned agencies are authorized to charge against their current appropriations all amounts necessary to implement Proclamation No. 991, subject to existing budgetary, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations. PND (jm)

President Aquino to lead 73rd Commemoration of Day of Valor
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday will lead the 73rd commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) at the Dambana ng Kagitingan, Mt. Samat Shrine in Pilar, Bataan.

The Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as Bataan Day, is observed on the 9th day of April every year by virtue of Republic Act No. 3022 and is a holiday nationwide.

The event coincides with the yearly observance of Philippine Veterans Week to celebrate and honor the bravery of Filipino soldiers who fought in the name of freedom and patriotism during World War II.

Officials from the military will join President Aquino during the morning ceremonial rites in Bataan, along with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, and Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa.

This year’s commemorative activities will carry the theme, “Ipunla ang Kagitingan sa Kabataan, Ihanda ang Beterano ng Kinabukasan.” PND (hdc)