Remarks by Reed Aeschliman, Deputy Mission Director, USAID/Philippines, Launching of the Bohol Travel Fair 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

[As Prepared]

Acknowledgements: Secretary Jimenez; Governor Chatto; Congressman Relampagos; Distinguished guests; Ladies and Gentlemen.

Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat!

I am pleased to represent the U.S. Government in the opening of the Bohol Travel Fair! Congratulations to the Provincial Government of Bohol led by Governor Edgar Chatto, a dear friend and a strong partner of the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development.

Indeed, Bohol is not a hard sell. Bohol’s many attractions and natural beauty will surely entice many to visit the island. The province attracts not only first time visitors but repeat tourists who are charmed by the hospitality of your people and the lure of your sights.

In my years as Mission Director of USAID in the Philippines, I have been a frequent visitor of Bohol, in work-related and personal capacities. I thoroughly enjoyed all those visits, not only because of Bohol’s unique attractions, but more importantly, the friendship and warm hospitality that the Boholanos offer. I’m sure I am not alone in feeling this way. I look forward to exploring your exhibit as I will surely discover new places that will persuade me to come back again. I may take advantage of the travel discounts myself.

The U.S. Government and Bohol share a long history of friendship. USAID has supported the economic development and good governance efforts of Bohol, starting with the Local Autonomy and Development Program and the GOLD Project in the 1990s to the more recent projects such as the Economic Growth Hubs Project, Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) Project and Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project.

USAID assistance helped transform Bohol to a premier tourism destination of the Philippines. Considered as one of the priority tourism development areas of the Philippines, Bohol’s ecotourism-based strategy has served as anchor for the economic, cultural and ecological programs of the province.

We consider Bohol as one of the success stories of our development assistance. We are proud to be part of Bohol’s achievements as an emerging growth center and we look forward to further advancing this productive partnership as we work towards our shared goal of achieving broad-based, inclusive and resilient growth.

Again, let me thank my dear friend, Gov. Chatto, for inviting me to this special occasion. Mabuhay ang Bohol!

Issuing Country