Philippines president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has named Cebu mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco as the next secretary of the tourism department.
Frasco, the daughter of Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, served as the spokesperson of now vice president-elect Sara Duterte during the national elections campaign. She replaces tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, appointed in 2018 by the former president Rodrigo Duterte.
Frasco said that her experience in Cebu, where she had recently been re-elected as Liloan mayor, made her see firsthand how tourism could be a major driver of the economy and how effective governance could help revive the tourism industry.
“I am eager to support president-elect Marcos’ vision to revitalise tourism so it may significantly propel the Philippines’ post-pandemic economic growth,” Frasco said in a statement.
Outgoing tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat welcomed Frasco’s appointment, and expressed hope that the “momentum toward revival, recovery, and resiliency of the tourism industry will be carried over to the new administration”.
“I will bow out of the department secure in the knowledge that the industry is back on its feet: borders have reopened and the livelihood of those dependent on tourism have gradually been restored,” said Puyat.
Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) president Alfred Reyes called Frasco’s appointment “good news for Cebu”.
“We will be back on the map again,” he said.