ADB, DOT, Canada start 2nd phase of industry skills grant

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THE Department of Tourism (DOT), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Government of Canada yesterday announced that the registration for the second phase of Philippine Tourism Industry Skills Grant Scheme is now open.

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The Industry Skills Grant Scheme is part of the Philippines Improving Competitiveness in Tourism (PICTourism) project, which provides Technical Assistance (TA) amounting to US$ 7.1 million granted to DOT, administered by ADB, and financed by the Government of Canada. The project aims to further enrich the competitiveness of the Philippine tourism industry and provide local opportunities for employment.

Piloted in four of the country’s tourist hotspots namely Bohol, Cebu, Davao, and Palawan, the project is designed to complement the efforts of the government in reaching the target of 10 million tourist arrivals annually by 2016. The Industry Skills Grant Scheme provides grants to tourism enterprises to upgrade employee skills and service standards.

The trainings implemented by the first 25 grantees awarded last year are showing initial positive results. Testimonies from the several grantees indicate that an improvement in the skills of their staff that underwent the training is becoming evident. They likewise are optimistic that the trainings will have a beneficial impact on their businesses. DOT is hoping to continue this positive effect on the tourism enterprises, which in turn, will support the development of the tourism industry.

The project team will go around the pilot areas to conduct workshops to further spread the word and encourage players in the tourism industry to register and apply for a training grant. The workshops will inform industry participants on the details of the DOT’s Industry Skills Grant Scheme and the application process. The series of workshops has started in Cebu last January 27 and Bohol last January 29. Workshops for Palawan are scheduled on February 3 in Puerto Princesa and February 5 in El Nido. The Davao workshop is scheduled on February 10 and will head to its last stop in Coron on February 12.

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