Interview with Mayor Hubbert Dolor of Puerto Galera
First of a series
Without a doubt, Puerto Galera is and will always be one of the most popular travel destinations in the Philippines, perhaps even in the whole of Asia.
Located in the northernmost part of Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Galera is best known as a go-to spot for beach-goers and water sports fans. Meanwhile, no less than the United Nations touted Puerto Galeraas a center of marine biodiversity in the region.
The Filipino Scribe (TFS) was among the ten blogs selected for the sponsored trip to Puerto Galera last April 21 and 22, 2015. Prior to that, the only other time this writer was able to visit the said place was last November 2012.
Speaking to a group of bloggers during their courtesy call last April 21, the municipality’s chief executive, Mayor Hubbert Dolor, emphasized that maintaining his town’s reputation as a prime tourist destination is not an easy task but with the solid support of his constituents, they are having success in it.
“Over 90% of our economy relies on tourism, and since all other industries conflict with tourism, this is all we have,” the mayor explained when asked if he is open to exploring the place’s potential for mining.
“Do you wonder why Puerto Galera has no specialty? It’s because we are not really encouraging our residents to engage in fishing,” he said in Filipino, adding that his constituents are only allowed to do hook-and-line fishing for their family’s needs.
The influx of local and foreign tourists to the municipality, according to the mayor, has not threatened the peace and order situation in the place.
“Luckily, all we have here are petty crimes like pickpocketing. Heinous crimes rarely happen, if at all,” Mayor Dolor said. Hepointed out that early in his term, Puerto Galera was recognized byProvincial Peace And Order Council for this achievement.
Even if he’s already in his third and last term as mayor, Dolor said getting every stakeholder in the communityadhere to his vision for the community remains important.
“My thinking goes this way: Let the people know your policies, then go straight to implementing them. Now, I always make it a point to involve everyone from the planning to the implementation. We always have those malayangdayalogos(MDs),” he said.
Before the courtesy call ends, the mayor reprises his familiar role as Puerto Galera’s marketer-in-chief. “I hope your articles can help us get more tourists. Our promise is, we want to make our visitors feel ourhospitalityand our good service. We are more than willing to host anyone here!”
PS:TFS would like to thank the following for making the event possible: Ms Cherry Bustamante Burwell and Kezia Bustamante-Lucas of The Big Difference Communications, the office of Puerto Galera Mayor Hubbert Dolor, Tribez Travels and Tours-PG, Minolo Shipping Lines, and Hollywood Palm Beach and Resort.