DOT STUDIES PROGRESSIVE ACCREDITATION FOR TOURISM ESTABLISHMENTS
Author: Mary Grace Padin
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is eyeing the adoption of a “progressive” accreditation scheme for tourism-related establishments to urge more of them to get accredited and raise the standard of tourism products and services in the country.
Tourism Undersecretary for Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation Alma Jimenez said the DOT had reviewed the accreditation process with the purpose of streamlining it.
She said the DOT would be adopting a progressive accreditation system, which starts from basic accreditation and moves to regular accreditation, then the star rating system.
“The Secretary already approved in principle our progressive accreditation system which will now be discussed with the stakeholders,” Jimenez said.
“I assure you that it will be attractive, this progressive accreditation system, which starts with self-assessment all the way to the more complex star rating. Nobody can now complain that they’re not accredited with the DOT,” she said.
Earlier, Jimenez said the scheme would make the accreditation system more inclusive for small establishments.
“The first level we call basic accreditation will address bare minimum requirements, harmonized with the business permits and some key standards that must be met,” Jimenez said. Basic accreditation must also be renewed yearly.
“The next levels will have more standards needed for compliance but these standards are basically oriented towards consumer protection rather than regulations,” she said.
Regular accreditation and star rating compliance will be rewarded by a range of incentives, from longer renewal periods, to inclusion in marketing collaterals and promotions and discounts for participation in trade shows.
According to DOT Region 4A director Rebecca Villanueva-Labit, establishments with basic compliance would be recognized by the DOT as “work-in-progress” toward achieving regular accreditation.
Having regular accreditation, meanwhile, means being compliant to standards set by the law, particularly requirements to accommodate persons with disabilities.
“What’s important to achieve regular accreditation is the PWD compliance. Based on international standards, you should be compliant with the size of the rooms, amenities, provision of compendium and signage,” Labit said.
Lastly, she said businesses with star rating would be considered “top of the line” establishments.
The move to improve the DOT’s accreditation system is pursuant to President Duterte’s directive to streamline government processes.
Based on the latest data from the website of the DOT as of writing, there are a total of 2,414 establishments and 936 frontliners accredited by the DOT all over the country.
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