A PROPOSED bill is being pushed in the House of Representatives that will seek to provide protection and assistance to local and foreign tourists in the country.
House Bill 232 was filed by Quezon Rep. Reynante Arrogancia, who said he is reviving the bill in the aftermath of the viral incident in Virgin Island in Bohol wherein the food bill incurred by tourists reached P26,000.
According to Arrogancia, there should be a strong mechanism wherein tourists can plead or file complaints, and to implement appropriate steps in order to avoid or curb any form of fraud, exploitation, harassment and other similar acts against tourists.
Under the proposed House Bill, Tourism Protection and Assistance Council (TPAC) will be established, which will serve as a platform that will deal with tourists’ complaints and a monitoring mechanism for their status or condition.
The council will be under the Department of Tourism, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and local government units.
Included in the TPAC mandate is the releasing of travel and tourist information that should be “multilingual,” and establish Tourist Help Desks where tourists can have free access to the internet and telephones, especially in times of need.