Pacquiao as tourism poster boy will be a tourism KO for Phl - solon
By Jason de Asis

BALER, Aurora, November 26, 2010–Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara yesterday called on President Aquino to tap Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao as tourism poster boy in order for the country to score a “spectacular knockout” in terms of tourism arrivals in the country.

Angara said Pacquiao’s global prominence and his stature as the recognized no. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world today, aside from being the only boxer in history to win eight titles in as many weight divisions, will come in handy in boosting tourism in the country amid the slogan fiasco involving one of the Aquino administration’s former undersecretaries.

“As we all know, Manny is very well-known in the global tourism industry and symbolize what Philippine tourism is all about. By tapping him as our tourism poster boy, it’s like telling tourists : Come to the Philippines, its tourist attractions will knock you out,” he said.

“Or perhaps, the government, with Manny as the face of tourism, can say to tourists : “Come to the Philippines, it’s the greatest tourism destination pound-for-pound,” he said.

The congressman made the suggestion after the much-criticized “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” promotion program of the Department of Tourism which drew flak from members of the tourism industry and other sectors who claimed the new DOT brand lacked vision and was supposedly copied from a foreign advertising campaign.

The controversy triggered the resignation of DOT Undersecretary Vicente Romano II. 

Earlier, the congressman’s aunt, Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo sought the grant of tax exemptions to Pacquiao as a token of recognition for the honor he brought into the country. This even as the government said Pacquiao is peso-for-peso the top taxpayer in the country today.

Pacquiao annexed the vacant World Boxing Council superwelterweight belt with a clinical destruction of the much bigger Antonio Margarito in their one-sided duel at the Cowboys’ Stadium in Dallas, Texas recently. (Jason de Asis)