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Palawan to spearhead formation of tourism cooperatives

The provincial government of Palawan is looking into the possibility of spearheading the formation of cooperatives to maximize expertise, skills and information in the development and marketing of the local tourism industry.

Victoria Ladica, cooperative development officer of the Provincial Cooperative Development Office (PCDO), said Tuesday there is currently no cooperative in Palawan that is directly related to tourism despite being one of two leading industries in the province.

“Our flourishing tourism industry is a good indication to start forming tourism cooperatives to help small related businesses increase their profits and get services better,” Ladica said.

Cooperatives, she added, could be formed out of the pasalubong (souvenirs or take home) centers and transport services. On transport services, cooperatives may be created to meet specialized transport requirements of the tourism industry, especially in areas with limited mobility.

On pasalubong centers, she said cooperatives could help create community-owned enterprises that could bring together consumers with owners, and buyers with sellers in a democratic governance structure.

It could help resolve the common economic difficulty of under or over production, business doubts, and excessive costs. Cooperatives could also fill market gaps that other private businesses ignore like affordable souvenirs and favorite take home food products, and could also help access credit services.

To further help them understand the purpose, Regional Director Danilo Intong of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in MIMAROPA will be in Palawan from October 18 to 19 to discuss the topic “Opportunities and Prospects of Tourism Industry for Cooperatives ” in the Northern Palawan Cooperative Congress that will be held in Port Barton, San Vicente town.

Celeste Anna Formoso / PNA