President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday assured government assistance to the tourism sector as the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I assure you the government’s commitment to strengthen the domestic tourism industry remains a top priority and Ilocos Norte will play a very large part,” President Marcos said in his speech during the celebration of Tan-Ok Ni Ilocano: The Festival of Festivals at the newly renovated Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. Memorial Stadium in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
The President noted that though the past three years had sidelined the celebration of festivals and other crowd-drawing events in the country due to the global health crisis, the time has come to reclaim lost opportunities.
“The darkest hours of the pandemic we pray are over, and now, we are ready to reclaim the time and opportunities we have lost for the last few years as we now emerge stronger than ever,” the chief executive said.
“Beyond today’s revelry, this event is expected to stimulate economic activity and support Ilocano families by driving tourism industries, sustaining local livelihoods,” President Marcos said, citing that the number of tourist arrivals is steadily increasing and would hopefully reach pre-pandemic levels.
The President also urged the next generation of Ilocano artists “to be proud of your identity and integrate our rich customs and traditions into the art that you showcase.”
“Let us share with our fellow Filipinos, and the rest of the world, the story of our roots in the upland indigenous communities, the vibrant communities of Ilocos, many of which have been crucial in molding us into what we are as a people today,” President Marcos pointed out.
President Marcos also thanked the people behind the renovation of the stadium where the celebration of the festival was being held.
“Named after my father, this stadium speaks well of the strength, the brilliance, the resilience of every Ilocano,” the President said, adding that his father “is very much proud of how far we have fared as a people.” (PND)