Philippine Department of Tourism rocked by major staff shake-up

Domingo Ramon Enerio III

A BIG shake-up is taking place within the Philippine Department of Tourism (DoT), with Domingo Ramon Enerio III, chief operating officer of DoT’s marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the latest to leave for early retirement.

Enerio ended his 36 years of service with the DoT and its attached agencies on Monday.

In his letter, Enerio, 58, said he plans to “explore opportunities in the private sector”.

“While I will hopefully not be too far away from the tourism scene, and continue to be involved in tourism marketing and promotions work, I also look forward to the free time resulting from retirement, and give myself a chance to focus on so-called ‘apostolic’ duties and chores,” he added.

Since tourism secretary Wanda Teo joined the DoT in July, several officials have left and replaced by her own team, DoT sources confirmed.

Lawyer Victoria Jasmin, undersecretary for tourism registration, coordination and resource generation, has retired. She was replaced by Alma Rita Jimenez, former president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines.

Assistant secretary Art Boncato has left and his position was given to Eden David who used to be with the regional office in Mindanao.

Undersecretary for administration and special concerns, Maria Theresa Martinez, has left, replaced by Catherine de Castro who used to host a travel television programme.

Jazmin Esguerra, who was recently recalled from a posting in China to become the director for media and communication services, also opted for early retirement. The department now has a new team.

Undersecretary for tourism development Benito Bengzon, Jr. remains in his position although there were former plans to have it filled by someone else.

DoT sources said more movements are expected from the DoT and its attached agencies. From the directors up, staff have offered their courtesy resignation/retirement to give Teo a free hand in deciding her own team.

How this massive shakeup will affect Philippine tourism, especially on marketing and promotions abroad, remains to be seen, according to the travel trade.

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