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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mark Lapid joins the Liberal Party for the Senate Bid

Just like the characters he often portrayed in his movies Lito Lapid was often an underdog during his tenure at the Senate.

Criticized for not being able to speak fluent English and for staying at the sidelines during discussions, instead Sen. Lapid opted to let his actions speak for himself. During his term as senator Lapid has become one of the most hardworking and prolific senators. In 2014, he filed 219 bills, the 4th highest next only to Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago, Jinggoy Estrada, and Antonio Trillanes IV.

This is the legacy that his son former Pampanga governor and TIEZA COO Mark Lapid hopes to continue or even surpass as he puts his name in this years senatorial race.

A couple of weeks ago,  Senatorial candidate Mark Lapid and his team invited a selected group of bloggers over a great food at Locavore and shared his thoughts about his father Senator Lito lapid, TIEZA and Tourism industry being a part of his platform and how he could continue his father's legacy if he wins the senatorial bid.

“When people talk about tourism they often talk about our beaches, our churches and our natural attractions. But if we look at it, we can also focus on medical tourism, Educational tourism, and even sports tourism (with their partnerships in our sports teams and NBA events). Our country, I think has a big potential to be an Agri Tourism destination, with our organic farms” he noted.

Mark Lapid,  works as Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority TIEZA Chief Operating Officer for 7 years from 2009- up to October 2015.  TIEZA has proactively placed itself at the forefront of tourism development in the country during his term.

He told a group of bloggers that tourism creates job and employment opportunities,   livelihood and boosts economy and if he wins in the elections, his main focus would be the Tourism industry.

Using the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom as an example, Lapid said these highly-developed all have well-established tourism programs and landed in the list of most-visited countries by foreign tourists. “These countries have been earning $36 billion to $56 billion a year from the money spent by foreign tourists—figures which are double or more than double of the OFW remittances and BPO revenues combined.”

(Last year, OFW remittances posted an all-time high of $24.3 billion while revenues from the BPO on the same year were pegged at $18.4 billion.)

“I know the importance of tourism in economic development. This brings huge sum of money, this creates business, and this creates jobs. May malaking kinabukasan sa turismo, dahil sa turismo may trabaho,” said the former actor-turned politician.

Mark earned the distinction as the youngest elected provincial chief executive of the country who, at twenty five, went on to steer the Province of Pampanga into one of the top ten performing provinces of the country. His youthful dynamism, remarkable governance and leadership brought about notable achievements which distinguished Pampanga in the field of Tourism, Trade and Investments.

He is married to actress Tanya Garcia in a civil wedding on July 30, 2010 at Marissa Hall in Porac, Pampanga. They have two daughters, Mischa Amidala (born September 21, 2007), and Matilda Anika (born October 29, 2010) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Barely a year after being appointed as General Manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) or in December 2009, the PTA was given by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) a “GAWAD PAMPUBLIKONG KORPORASYON” in testimony of the institution that articulates the values of creativity and excellence through public-private sector partnership. Moreover, PTA was cited as the first government corporation to have successfully awarded and concluded a Joint Venture Agreement with the private sector in accordance with the 2008 JV Guidelines of NEDA.

Led the transition of PTA into the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).  TIEZA’s organizational transformation is evidenced by the ISO 9001-2008 certification issued by TUV Rheinland in May this year.

Just within months from the approval of the implementing guidelines for the establishment of tourism enterprise zones, TIEZA approved projects worth over P50 billion that will create around 100,000 jobs from construction to operation.

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