BARMM eyes tourism ministry




The Manila Times


A SEPARATE tourism ministry is needed to facilitate the rapidly growing tourism industry in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), a top lawmaker in Cotabato said. Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA)-BARMM parliament member Amir Mawallil on Thursday filed BTA Bill 13 or “An Act Creating the Ministry of Tourism, appropriating funds, therefore, 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 currently forms part of the region’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism. “The bill seeks to establish a separate ministry for tourism by dividing the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism into two ministries — the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” Mawallil stated. Under the bill, Mawallil said the MoT shall be responsible for promoting and developing tourism as a revenue and employment generator. He said the MoT can facilitate 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 the long-term growth of the region. “The BARMM is strategically located in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-MalaysiaPhilippines East Asean Growth Area. Its proximity to this subregion in the Asean makes it an exciting zone for investors to explore,” Mawallil added. He further stated that BARMM can be considered a unique region with its rich natural resources, history, cultural diversity and beautiful landscapes. 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.