Salceda ready to help Frasco, will not ask her to resign

Legazpi City — Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda on Tuesday offered Department of Tourism (DOT ) Secretary Christina Frasco his help and to discuss ways of going forward after the controversy surrounding the agency’s use of stock footage of other countries in the promotional video of the “Love the Philippines” campaign.

In a message sent to reporters, Salceda admitted he criticized openly, explaining that this is needed as a legislator and representative of the people in his district.

“I asked her to fire the consultant, and she did. I asked her to correct mistakes and investigate internally, and she did. I asked her to be more inclusive with destinations featured, and she did. When we resume session in Congress, we will seek facts, she is open. We can disagree without malice,” he said.

Salceda also said he was not joining calls for the Tourism secretary to resign and instead advised her to focus on ways forward.

“Once the controversy about this rebranding effort passes, we will still need to fix our airports, our accommodations, our accessibility. So, no, I will not join calls for her to resign. Certainly not when a lot of it is premised on speculation. I focused on facts in my criticisms. I want to focus on facts on the solutions,” he said.

Salceda also asked everyone to help Frasco. “I would like to summon the collective intellect, energy, and innovativeness of the brightest minds in advertising and promotions to help the DOT.”

Albay will help her, he added.

“I offer her my personal experience as former governor of Albay, when we grew foreign tourist arrivals by 4,700 percent and became the country’s rising tourism star. Albay has 1.32 tourists per resident, pre-pandemic, higher than the 0.57 per resident number nationally. It’s one of the best – if not the best, pound-for-pound,” Salceda noted.

Salceda was a highly-commended governor who was given the first Tourism Star award by the DOT in 2015 for his efforts in making Albay a leading tourist destination. Recently, he was also given the Special Grand Tourism Award by the Manila Overseas Press Club.

“I also want to work with her on the Bicol International Airport, and other issues. Let’s move forward,” Salceda said. I via Connie Calipay/PNA