October 2, 2023

The city council has approved on first reading a proposed ordinance converting the Tourism and Special Events Division of the City Administrator’s Office to a regular department.

Once created, the said department will be called the City Tourism, Culture, and Arts Office (CTCAO).

The division is currently responsible for the development, management, marketing, and promotions of all tourism-related plans, programs, and activities of the city government.

It is also tasked to formulate and implement plans related to civic and special events of the city and to manage, maintain, and promote the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center as a major meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions facility of the city government. 

According to the proposed ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and Councilor Lilia Fariñas, the current composition and setup of the Tourism and Special Events Division are “inadequate” given its crucial mandate.

Farinas said, currently, there is no city government office that undertakes projects and programs related to culture and arts development and promotion, which is a major criterion in the Department of the Interior and Local Government memorandum on Seal of Good Local Governance.

The new department to be created after the enactment of the proposed ordinance is expected to execute projects and programs related to culture and arts development.

The CTCAO shall be composed of a department head, an assistant department head, and four division heads with their corresponding personnel. These four divisions are the Administration, Sister Cities, Protocols, and Diplomatic Affairs Division; Tourism Product and Services Development, Marketing, Promotions, and Special Events Division; Tourism Research, Planning, and Regulations Division; and Heritage, Culture, and Arts Preservation and Promotions Division. – Jordan G. Habbiling