‘1st ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award’ bolsters San Carlos City’s tourism, investment potentials

San Carlos Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr. said the full cooperation of his constituents in the northern Negros Occidental city is the main factor for garnering the “1st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Clean Tourist City Award”.

SAN CARLOS CITY Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr. during an interview with NDB at his office.* (APT photo)

Valmayor said, the award bolsters the efforts for environment protection and tourism development, and also boosts the city’s investment attractions.

“I thank my constituents and my colleagues in government for always supporting undertakings that develop and expand San Carlos’ potentials,” he said.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez informed Mayor Valmayor, in a letter, “with great pride and honour” that the city has been chosen to receive the prestigious award.

Jimenez noted that San fitted the requirements of the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard. The awarding will be during the ASEAN Tourism Forum at Shangri-La Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand on January 26, this year.

Jimenez, Undersecretary for Tourism Regulations, Coordination and Resource Generation said, on behalf of DOT, “we extend our heartfelt congratulations to San Carlos City. With this award, we hope to hear more stories of success in the improvement and maintenance of the city’s tourist attractions and contributions to sustainable development.”

The criteria for the award included a series of indicators on sustainable ASEAN cities, the quality of the tourism they offer, and identification of areas that can be improved, as well as responses to climate change, and on cultural, natural and man-made attractions.

The city bested other major cities in the country like Davao and Cebu, and other major cities in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region.

Prior to the award, San Carlos was also recognized as one of ASEAN’s 50 Landmark Cities and Environmentally Sustainable City.

VALMAYOR & GUSTILO. “We are proud to receive this prestigious award. The fruit of a job well done by my constituents and my colleagues in government. This is related to environmental protection, climate change... as our tourism potentials depend a lot on our natural resources and of course on the cleanliness of our community, the orderliness of our city,” the mayor said in an interview with NDB.

“We are excited to receive this ASEAN award in Thailand,” the mayor said, adding that, “this will further inspire us to further improve San Carlos environmentally, and our potential attractions and resources, especially the Island of Sipaway and the beautiful scenic areas in our countrysides.”

Vice Mayor Rene Gustilo also credited the award to the people of San Carlos and to the local government workers, saying with or without an award, the local government and the people will keep on working for the betterment of the city and its people.

ATTRACT MORE TOURISTS. “San Carlos has always been an environmental city, starting from my predecessors, former mayor Rogelio (Roger) Debulgado and former mayor and now Negros Occ. vice governor Eugenio (Bong) Lacson. We really did and keep doing a lot for the environment up to now. We continue to practice our solid and waste management, and the protection of our environmental resources from the highlands to the oceans,” Mayor Valmayor said.

“We are very proud of this award. We are looking forward that this will be an incentive for us to be able to attract and invite more tourists to our city. We are also looking forward to work hand in hand with other partners to improve our facilities, our tourism sites for the enjoyment of our constituents and visitors alike,” the mayor added.

LIVELIHOOD, TOO. Mayor Valmayor said while protecting its environment, natural resources and tourism potentials, the city government has also been sustaining its health and livelihood services to its people, and maintains the ever-prevailing peace and order situation.

“I am inviting tourists and guests to visit the city, stay for a few days or nights, and enjoy the different tourism sites we have,” he also said.

Other than its tourism sites and natural wonders, man-made structures also keep sprouting in the city.

Investments, businesses, private and public infrastructures as well as industrial plants have generated employment for city residents as well as for those coming from nearby towns and cities in northern Negros Occ.*(Arman P. Toga)

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