Baguio eyes ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard Award

BAGUIO CITY May 22 – Baguio City is setting its sights on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Clean Tourist City Standard (ACTCS) award as Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan mandated all concerned local government departments and offices, and requesting appropriate government line agencies and private organizations, to provide assistance and data to support the city's bid for the said award.

The local chief executive authorized the Office for Administration–City Tourism and Special Events Office to serve as the lead office and is granted full access to all records and data pertinent to the said endeavour of the local government.

Further, the said office is also authorized to submit pertinent documents to the ACTCS screening committee and to see to it that the city meets the prescribed deadline for the submission of the city's application on May 30, 2019.

In the essence of ASEAN's aims, purposes and fundamental principles as contained in the Bangkok Declaration on 1967 and the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, these provide for the search for qualified member-state cities for the ACTCS award.

Moreover, the ACTCS aims to provide member-nations with a tool to improve the quality of tourism in their cities, increase marketing competitiveness, improve the situation of local residents and their livelihood to alleviate poverty, and protect the environment in response to the serious negative impact of climate change and contribute to the sustainable development of ASEAN cities.

The standard is based on a series of indicators that evaluates how sustainable ASEAN cities currently are, the quality of tourism they offer, and identification of areas that can be improved, therefore, providing the member-nation cities with benchmarks to aim for and ultimately lead to greater number and satisfaction of tourists and better conditions for the citizenry of the city.

The indicators evaluated in the ACTCS include environmental management, cleanliness, waste management, awareness building about environmental protection and cleanliness, green spaces, health safety and urban safety and security, and tourism infrastructure and facilities.

The standard focuses on tourist cities where there is flow of visitors and where cultural, natural and man-made attractions exist, such as those in Baguio City.

Last May 8, 2019, Domogan reported that a team comprising of representatives from the Office for Administration, City Tourism and Special Events Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, City Planning and Development Office, City Health Services Office, City Environment and Parks Management Office, City General Services Office, City Engineering Office, City Buildings and Architecture Office, Baguio City Police Office, Department of Tourism Cordillera, Department of Public Works and Highways–Baguio and the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) held an initial meeting and mocked-up self-assessment evaluation of the city's status vis-à-vis ACTCS to determine whether the city can proceed with the filing of the desired application.

Based on the initial assessment done, Baguio City garnered a score of 85.20 percent surprisingly surpassing the 60 percent threshold set by the ACTCS self-evaluation method.

By Dexter A. See

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