Pursuant to the Presidential Proclamation No. 647, “Declaring the Month of October of Every Year as the National Statistics Month,” The NSM is annually observed nationwide. This year, the Municipality of Dalaguete heartily hosted the opening event with the nationwide theme “Exploring Philippines Wonders in Numbers: Statistics Towards Sustainable Tourism Development.”

The Municipality of Dalaguete welcomed the heads and members from the Regional Statistics Committee Member Agencies and sectors yesterday that included the Department of Tourism VII, Regional Statistics Chair committee, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Energy, TESDA, Department of Health and Philippine Statistics Authority.

The energetic mayor of Dalaguete, Hon. Ronald Allan G. Cesante, gave his welcome remarks. He started by expressing his gratefulness to the team in choosing Dalaguete as the venue for the launching of this event. He added that Dalaguete is gracious enough to support the National Agencies in providing livelihood programs and opportunities aside from vegetable farming and other industries. In addition, Dalaguete has been providing the necessary investments for eco-tourism since time immemorial, he admitted that we are still about to rise to compete with other rising products and eco-tourism not just in Central Visayas but hopefully to the world as well. In his conclusion, he is open to suggestions of valuable ideas from these agencies on how we can compete and thrive to survive locally and internationally.

Director Efren Carreon, the chair of the Regional Statistics Committee delivered his keynote speech. He started by congratulating the Mayor for the on-going renovation of the town plaza and bay walk area as a tool for social interaction of every Dalaguetnon to aide productive citizenry. He admitted that it is their first time to do-away the traditional opening program in their regional office. They wanted to bring the agencies outside their regional offices to bring these agencies closer to the people and to appreciate the eco-tourism sites that they want to promote in line with the theme and the development plan of the province. He pointed out that tourism contributed around 12.2% of the gross domestic product of the country, this was from their statistics survey currently. He strongly believed however, that the tourism industry contributes more than the statistical survey data, it is more than 12.2% in Central Visayas. He further explained that most people in Central Visayas has been enjoying high tourist arrivals since most of the transportation process are mostly well-developed and is mobile. It is in this reason that they truly improve and continue to build airports in Bohol and in Dumaguete. He concluded that the arrivals of tourist both local and international alike is what inspired them in their service of bringing the best experience in local tourism in our country. Right after his speech, variety of cultural dances entertained the visitors as an intermission number from the high school students of Dalaguete National High School and elementary students from Cawayan Elementary School.

Ms. Judilyn S. Quiachon, DOT VII, Chief of Staff/ Spvg. TOO, shared the 2017 Tourism Statistics and its Relevance to Sustainable Tourism Development. The core component of her speech apparently was the presentation of data gathered from 2017 up to the present and the statistical framework for tourism — one that integrates the various dimensions of sustainable tourism (economic, environmental and social) and across relevant spatial levels (global, national and subnational). She ended that sustainable tourism is increasingly relevant in national agendas for its role in fostering economic growth, social inclusiveness and the protection of cultural and natural assets.

The closing remarks was done by Director Ariel E. Florendo, Vice-chair of the Regional Statistics Committee. He expressed how overwhelmed he was for just being there since it was his first time to be in Dalaguete. He appreciated the economic growth of Dalaguete as the first class municipality and can still see its potentials. Aside from that, he promised to come back with his wife to explore deeper in our hometown.

The team, together with the HR and tourism staff assisted the visitors during the technical assessment of Mt. Talongon, Osmena Peak and the Trading Center at Mantalogon wherein most of them were able to buy fresh vegetables from the Trading Center. After evaluating and assessing the area, the visitors also had extra fun at the top of Osmena Peak and took endless photos at the flower garden. They went home satisfied with the loot bags with different delicacies from Dalaguete.

The team gave Mayor Cesante a plaque of appreciation in his valuable support and cooperation that made the conduct of the opening ceremony of the 29th National Statistics Month a great success.