vieques se solidariza con declaración filipina sobre el turismo y la
On Behalf Of Julia Estrella
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 12:09 PM
Subject: Please send this to people on your list who might appreciate this
----- Original Message -----
From: HYPERLINK "mailto:secretariat@..."Peace for Life
To: HYPERLINK "mailto:forum@..."PfL Forum ; HYPERLINK
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 3:24 AM
Subject: [PfL-Forum] Tourism Statement
Tourism in the Philippines: A View from the Underside
(A joint initiative of Peace for Life and ECOT, with the cooperation of the
National Council of Churches in the Philippines, CONTAK Philippines and IBON
October 21-22, 2008
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
We are individuals and representatives of the church and of NGOs from labor,
environment, culture and arts, rural development, health, indigenous
peoples, women, and childrens rights in the Philippines participating in
the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism Consultation entitled Tourism in the
Philippines: A View from the Underside on October 21-22, 2008.
Amid the global financial crisis and the domestic economys stagnation,
there is widespread poverty, a rise in joblessness, deterioration of the
health and education systems, further displacement of people due to
human-made disasters and vulnerability to natural calamities, increasing
homelessness, and other social problems.
The dire economic and social conditions of the people today are attributed,
among other reasons, to decades of development aggression, a part of which
is so-called tourism development. Government strategies on tourism since
the introduction of neoliberal policies have intensified the
commercialization of culture, history, and heritage sites, prostitution and
human trafficking, child exploitation, the spread of diseases such as
HIV/AIDS, and land dispossession and livelihood displacement, especially of
the upland farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples and other national
The government has played a pivotal role in exploitative and oppressive
forms of tourism. Adhering to the policies of globalization being peddled
by the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank,
the government is pushing tourism as an engine of economic growth,
employment, and the promotion of indigenous culture and history; however,
they are actually advancing the interests of Trans-National Corporations
(TNCs) in airline and shipping industries, hotel and restaurant industries,
real-estate development, and travel agencies.
We oppose current tourism practices and the governments policy direction
+ offer the country's lands, including cultural and heritage grounds, and
other natural resources, for exploitation by big business and TNCs in the
guise of promoting economic growth as well as the country's history and
+ make national interests subservient to the profit interests of
tourism-related industries such as airlines and shipping, big hotels and
restaurants, so-called medical tourism hospitals, resorts, escort services,
and other commercial tourist destinations;
+ prioritize medical tourism thereby tapping the country's best hospitals
and medical services/facilities with a tour package for foreign visitors and
making health and medical care even more inaccessible to millions of
Filipinos, underscoring the governments abandonment of its responsibility
to provide basic health services to the people;
+ place culture in the service of tourism which is inimical to the
development of national identity and genuine nationalism;
+ promote so-called traditional and indigenous culture and arts but in
the process alienate Indigenous peoples from their traditional way of life
and their capacity to develop as a people;
+ develop tourist sites and leisure facilities without regard to and at
the expense of the local population and the environment;
+ lure tourists through images of women and the prospect of inexpensive
sexual services due to underdevelopment; and
+ make children more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
It is for these reasons that we declare our opposition to the Arroyo
governments tourism development program, specifically the proposed Tourism
Act of 2008 making it a national policy to foster robust tourism growth
and other legislations in consonance with the General Agreement on Trade in
Services and Trade-Related Investment Measures which liberalize the service
industries and give unrestricted entry to tourism-related TNCs.
We must reject the pending Tourism Act of 2008 which is integral to the
neoliberal agenda that expands the powers of TNCs to exploit the people, the
culture and the natural resources of the country. The Act will only worsen
and intensify the ill effects experienced with the current tourism policies.
We believe that tourism can be a good instrument of understanding and
solidarity among cultures and peopleif we link the population to an ethos
of protecting the environment, if we relate the peoples history of struggle
with their present situation, if we affirm the peoples cultural and social
life, and if we pursue the peoples aspirations for justice, human rights,
democracy and sovereignty.
Within this context, we challenge the tourism industry by developing forms
of ethical and socially responsible travel and recreation which foster
understanding and respect for other cultures and beliefs.
We shall promote and practice solidarity tourism that
+ challenges the profit orientation and commercial basis of mass tourism;
+ offers opportunity to understand the Philippine context beyond its
prevailing commercial image;
+ serves as a window to the struggle of people for peace and fullness of
life for all;
+ offers an opportunity for mutual sharing, learning and participation;
+ that enables the formation of networks of people and organizations
committed to work for justice and peace.
We commit to a continued cooperation and networking with the Ecumenical
Coalition on Tourism in the pursuit of ethical and socially-responsible
travel and recreation.
We challenge the Church, as a shepherd of the people of God, to stand and
take action against unethical strategies of national development, as easily
identified in the Arroyo governments tourism policy that degrades human
dignity and does violence to human communities. Voices of the faithful must
denounce and oppose tourism as an instrument of oppression and exploitation.
We call on the wider peoples movement for justice and peace to lead the
opposition to the pending Tourism Act of 2008 and advance the pursuit of
genuine development for the Filipino people. ##
Peace for Life Secretariat
2/F, Bp. La Verne Mercado
NCCP Compound, 879 EDSA
West Triangle, Quezon City
Telefax: (+632) 9278043
Email: HYPERLINK "http://www.peaceforlife.org"secretariat@...
Website: HYPERLINK "http://www.peaceforlife.org"http://www.peaceforlife.org
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