‘We need an emergency-prepared tourism industry’

International Emergency First Responder instructor Dr. Ranchito Abellanosa demonstrates basic defense tips for students as part of the two day basic safety and emergency first responder training with Bukidnon State University Hotel and Restaurant Management students on December 6 Bukidnon News photo by Walter I. Balane

International Emergency First Responder instructor Dr. Ranchito Abellanosa demonstrates basic defense tips for students as part of the two day basic safety and emergency first responder training with Bukidnon State University Hotel and Restaurant Management students on December 6
Bukidnon News photo by Walter I. Balane


MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News.Net/06 December) About 450 Hotel and Restaurant Management students of Bukidnon State University are undergoing a two-day Emergency preparedness and first response training with teams of trainers from the private and public sector as part of steps to prepare Bukidnon as an “emergency-prepared tourism destination”.
Maite Abellanosa, tourism cluster head of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. said the training of tourism human resources is an initial step in partnership with Bukidnon State University to have a safe and emergency responsive tourism industry.

Abellanosa, who also owned the training firm Ohana Adventures and Events Management, cited the need for capacity of local tourism players in safety and emergency first response as it is one of the requisites of the international tourism industry.

First year to fourth years HRM students of BSU were required to undergo the training as part of their preparation, especially because they are taking internships and future jobs around the country and abroad, said Josephine Eugenio, one of the faculty members of BSU’s College of Business, Accountancy, Hospitality, and Public Governance (CBAHPG).

Eugenio said this is the first time they are holding it for their HRM students.

Dr. Rachito Abellanosa told Bukidnon News the training is crucial for tourism professionals as they may figure in emergency situations in their jobs in the tourism and restaurant industries. He added that many of the country’s HRM professionals are employed in first world countries where demand is high for emergency first responder certifications.

There are two batches of students – each batch to undergo whole day training in four areas. The first of the four workshops is the anti-crime/anti-terrorism safety workshop handled by Dr. Abellanosa, an international instructor for Emergency First Response and Carlo Clapano, a former safety officer of the Philippine Air Force.

The other workshops include the medical workshop with registered nurse and trainer Wynn Manette Perig, who is a certified emergency first responder; fire emergency workshop handled by Malaybalay City fire officers led by Russel Bacawag; and Ms. Abellanosa, who gave the workshop on being psychologically and emotionally prepared to survive.

Abellanosa admitted that the two-day training only covers “basic” skills because the original training design requires five days for all four areas.

She told Bukidnon News earlier there is a need to work with Bukidnon’s destination management adding while Bukidnon has all the ingredients for a booming tourism industry, “all of the stakeholders are not linked in a value chain.”

She said the tourism sector must know how to connect their part with the other stakeholders.
Abellanosa cited that there is a need to develop potential scenic attractions to make them better tourist destinations, then help market these destinations.
She said Bukidnon’s top attractions are “nature” and “adventure” tours, but added that the province can do very good in attracting tourists interested in “culture” and “agriculture.” She said local tourism can be developed in all those four aspects.
The province hosts seven indigenous tribes, each with colorful culture that get showcased only during the annual Kaamulan Festival.
Touring the mountains of Bukidnon, one can see the vast pineapple, banana and sugarcane plantations, not to mention the various vegetable and fruit crops.
Abellanosa pointed out that they have the potential to accommodate any type of tourist, but they have not developed the capacity yet.
She said there is a need to train tour guides.
Abellanosa, who is one of the pioneering cultural guides in the province, noted that there are only two tour operators accredited by the provincial government, but with workers who are mostly from Cagayan de Oro City “who know nothing about Bukidnon.”
She cited the tie up with BSU for the training of to help prepare the province for cultural tourism. These students, she said, are those taking up social science and hotel and restaurant management courses.
Chamber officials lauded the initial training of BSU students on Bukidnon culture as a start of the enabling measures to develop tourism in the province.
Abellanosa said she will link with tour operators so the trained students will be hired as cultural guides.
The chamber, she said, intends to support culture tourism in the province, citing the music and arts of Waway Saway and his group of Talaandig artists.
“That’s our top global product from Bukidnon. What’s good about them is that among similar groups, they are the ones who excel. They take efforts to polish their craft,” Abellanosa stressed.
Roberto Tinsay, the chamber’s vice president for membership, cited in an earlier interview that tourism should be emphasized in pursuing development because it is “one the best drivers of growth”.(Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)