New Phil. Tourism Authority GM won’t speak, hides school records

June 12, 2008

(ed.- Lapid refused to answer interview questions and is hiding his educational attainment from the public.  It will be a lot of fun to watch this clown sit down with the rest of ASEAN, for example, to map out SouthEast Asia’s plans to get tourists to come over this side of the globe.  In order for the Philippines to raise it’s tourist inflow, the little president appointed a  new guy, Mr. Mark Lapid, who these days is barely missing   having to face possible legal problems because, as his movie star actress was busy being pregnant, supposedly with his child, he flew off to Vegas to marry a Korean girl. Good grief, this government has ’em all. If they don’t have pending court cases before the graft courts, now it seems they might also have cases before the family courts. Who knows, after all, he could get an interpreter. Problem is, what does he know about tourism that he will need a translator for?   For crying our loud,  what can he know about  tourism if he won’t even come out and reveal whether he is a high school graduate or, even more unlikely, did he see the classroom of a college?
Macau is looking at 40 million tourists a year. Florida alone has 40 million tourists a year. Thailand counts on 11 million visitors a year on average. Hong Kong expects a high of 27 million tourists this year. With Mr. Lapid on board, we can now rest assured that our measly 2.1 million tourists will probably be reduced to about a million a year.  How can this guy expect to run a vital government office when, at 28, he can’t reply to reporters.  Does he speak english at all?  After all, he will need to be interfacing with other governments and other foreign groups to sell the Philippines as a tourist haven.  Look at it this way.  Would you include Manila as a choice if you had a chance to visit three countries? What if you were offered five countries? Ten, maybe? Twenty? Maybe, if you put a gun to my head.  We forget that the tourists look at what the the tourism industry does to help the traveller.  I guess more need not be said.  Just as the airport, as you are coming, you will be met by three thousand Filipinos going.  These are people leaving the country to find a job.  Boy, that will surely assure you that it’s going to be one wild fun and crazy vacation.  After all, you will virtually have the country all to yourself, as everyone else has left.

Arroyo appoints Lapid’s son to head PTA

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, Tonette Orejas, Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 05:26:00 06/05/2008

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—In the profiles of governors gathered by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, then Pampanga Gov. Mark Lapid left blank all the data pertaining to his educational attainment from elementary, high school and college.

But the eldest son of Manuel “Lito” Lapid, an actor who lost to Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay in the May 2007 elections but kept his seat in the Senate, will head the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA).

Starting July 1, the younger Lapid will serve as acting general manager of the PTA for a six-year term, the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of learned Wednesday.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the younger Lapid’s appointment papers on Monday, two sources in the tourism sector said.

Lapid’s appointment was confirmed by Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano on Wednesday.

“Yes, we received the appointment [of Lapid] as acting general manager of PTA today [Wednesday],” Durano told

Asked why Lapid, who lost the 2007 elections to incumbent Gov. Eddie Panlilio, was appointed only in an acting capacity, Durano said “I can only assume” that, since the post of PTA general manager has a fixed term of six years, President Arroyo “might want to give the next president flexibility.”

The designation of the 28-year-old former governor came after the expiration of the one-year ban on losing political candidates from holding appointive positions.

He will replace Durano as officer in charge of the PTA.

Durano said he would ensure that Lapid is brought “up to speed so he can immediately pursue the priorities set by [Arroyo] through the PTA board.”

“It’s my responsibility to make it work,” he added.

Founded in 1973, the PTA is the implementing arm of the Department of Tourism for the development, promotion and supervision of tourism projects in the country.

Its website has yet to announce the appointment of the younger Lapid to the agency.

“Mark’s position in the PTA is being kept a secret until July 1,” a source in the tourism business said earlier.

A Department of Tourism insider said Lapid’s entry into the PTA had “disappointed” old-timers in the agency because there were many qualified officials from within.

Some questioned his professional credentials or capacity to manage.

Lapid served as a barangay captain of his hometown Porac from 2001 to 2004. He headed the Association of Barangay Captains in the province during the period, enabling him to also serve as a board member.

He served as governor from 2004 to 2007 and lost in his reelection bid to Panlilio, a Catholic priest on leave, in the May 14, 2007, elections.

He was known to have entered but dropped out of the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary in the City of San Fernando and enrolled next for a business administration course at the Angeles University Foundation in Angeles City.


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