Use trike drivers as local tour guides, elderly as local historians



By Rose de la Cruz


To better use the expertise of locals in their territory, tricycle drivers must be accredited as local tour guides while the elderly must be tapped as local historians for accuracy.


Thus suggested Reps. Harlin Neil Abayon, AANGAT Tayo partylist and Francisco Datol Jr of the Senior Citizen partylists in separate press statements.


Abayon asked the Department of Tourism to conduct massive nationwide tour guide training for tricycle drivers]


Being DoT-accredited tour guides can improve the lives of tricycle drivers nationwide, said Abayon.


"Tour guide services can augment incomes of hundreds of thousands of tricycle drivers in the provinces' rural areas and also in the cities," Abayon, an active member of the House panel on transportation said.


"The DoT and the Department of Interior and Local Government can find ways to train them and to authorize them to charge a reasonable fee for being tour guides," he added.


He said some towns already have DOT-trained and accredited tour guides.


"The successes of Sipalay City in Negros Occidental, Baler in Aurora province, in Kalibo, Aklan, and Luna in La Union can be replicated nationwide," the congressman said.


"DOT, DILG, and LTFRB just have to issue standards, guidelines, and reasonable service fee rates," Abayon said.


He said “Since tricycle drivers tend to tell stories to their passengers about the locality anyway, bakit hindi natin sila gawing official tour guides para makatulong sa pag-promote ng turismo? Sa pamamagitan nito, mabibigyan pa sila ng dagdag na kita. Kaakibat ng dagdag na kita, kailangang mabigyan sila ng sapat na training hinggil sa customer service at road safety.” 


Seniors as historian


Rep. Datol said senior citizens must be tapped as local historians


Many senior citizens can still lead productive, active lives and can do so as local history and culture tour guides, Datol said.


"Semi-retirement as part-time local history and culture specialists is a viable livelihood option for many seniors who are still physically-able and whose minds are still sharp," said Datol, who is vice chairman of the House committee on senior citizens.


"Maaari itong ipatupad ng Department of Tourism, Department of Interior and Local Government, at ng National Commission of Senior Citizens sa buong bansa," Datol stressed.


He said state universities and colleges should do their best to record the local history of the cities, towns, and provinces where SUCs are based--by interviewing the senior citizens.


"Senior citizens lived through history. They are walking and living encyclopedias of local history. Their testimony, when preserved in video interviews, theses, and dissertations, will deepen their outreach linkages, academic research, and contribution to the nurturing of Philippine history and culture," Datol said.


"Special consultants dapat ang turing sa senior citizens na tutulong bilang local history witnesses," the congressman said.



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