The rapidly growing tourism industry in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) needs its own tourism ministry to focus on its development, a top lawmaker here said.
Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) – BARMM parliament member Amir Mawallil on Thursday filed BTA Bill No. 13 or “An Act Creating the Ministry of Tourism, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.” “The bill was filed to bring focus to the burgeoning tourism industry in the autonomous region,” Mawallil said.
The BARMM tourism office forms part of the region’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism (MTIT). “The bill seeks to establish a separate ministry for tourism by dividing the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism (MTIT) into two ministries — the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” he said.
Under the proposed measure, Mawallil said the MOT shall be responsible for promoting and developing tourism as a revenue and employment generator. He said the MOT can facilitate in spreading the benefits of tourism across a wider segment of the Bangsamoro population.
Mawallil said he hoped that an MOT can act as a catalyst for long-term growth of the region.
“The BARMM is strategically located in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Its proximity to this sub-region in the ASEAN makes it an exciting zone for investors to explore,” Mawallil said.
Across the country, the BARMM can be considered a unique region with its rich natural resources, history, cultural diversity and beautiful landscapes, he said.
Among the sceneries considered national treasures in the region are Lake Lanao, the vast Sulu Sea, and the lush and untouched islands of Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Basilan. (PNA)