IN a momentous covenant signing, various government agencies pledged their commitment in ensuring a tourism industry that is conducive to children and women.
This transpired as the Department of Tourism (DoT) presented the TourISM WoRCS Program or the Tourism Integrates, Support and Minds Women’s Respect and Child Safety .
In her keynote address, DoT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat stressed the agency’s commitment to pursue this daunting task. She said, “As we celebrate the world renowned hospitality of the Filipino and the characteristic readiness of our people to please at all cost, it is also incumbent upon us to ensure that we give equal protection to the most vulnerable members of our society. Like how we value and protect our natural attractions and safeguard our diverse cultures, it is also our responsibility that our people, particularly our women and children, are free from harm, abuse, much more from any sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”
From the original version, the Child Wise Tourism Program in 2006, the advocacy evolved as the Child Safe Tourism (CST) program in 2014, and now as TourISM WoRCS, the comprehensive version incorporating gender and development (GAD) concerns and interventions.
Through the TourISM WoRCS program, a series of trainings and seminars that promote sustainable tourism practices will be mounted to ensure that the rights of children and women are protected. It will also facilitate the establishment of “child safe and women in tourism” focal persons in every regional office.
Travelers and the general public are encouraged to report if a child is in danger to PNP hotline117 or the international police: www.interpol.org.