Commissioner Darilag‘s Inspirational Message during AAHRMEI’s Induction of Officers and Post-Christmas Celebration

Inspirational Message
Induction of Officers and Post-Christmas Celebration
Association of Administrators in Hospitality, Hotel and Restaurant
Management Educational Institutions (AAHRMEI)
Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
January 30, 2020 11:00 a.m.

Commissioner Aldrin A. Darilag
Commission on Higher Education

To all the officers and members of the Association of Administrators in Hospitality, Hotel & Restaurant Management Educational Institutions (AAHRMEI), it is an honor and privilege to be invited today as we induct your New Set of Officers and enjoy a Post-Christmas Celebration with friends and colleagues. It is amazing to see everyone. I understand that since your first ever Assembly on February 24, 2001 which was participated in by only 22 administrators, you have grown to a strong organization of 3,500 members. Dr. Gloria Baken Wong-Siy, the first elected National President and the Current President of this Association, together with the able and dedicated leaders of AAHRMEI, were able to withstand the test and challenges of the times. For this I commend you all for working hard to support our Hospitality, Hotel and Restaurant Industry which in turn boosted the Philippine economy through the massive influx of tourists and increase in tourism activity over the past two years. I am extending my sincerest congratulations to all, for a job superbly done!

My task today is to give an inspirational message. Before I came here, I had this deep thought. AAHRMEI is already a highly motivated organization. It is already Serving its purpose very well. What more can I say to file up their eagerness to carry on with their Vision, Mission, and Objectives? Then I realized that as your Commissioner, I must emphasize the Commission on Higher Education’s vital role in ensuring that our Higher Education Institutions are producing the relevant human resource this industry needs. I am very glad that AAHRMEI is a very good collaborator of the Commission. This is an opportunity for us to work together in providing skilled, relatively knowledgeable and competent graduates that this agile industry requires.

Let us first have a common appreciation of the Philippine Tourism, Hospitality, Hotel and Restaurant Industry: The Philippine Tourism Industry plays a very important role in the continuing growth of the Philippine Economy. According to the Department of Tourism, it has generated some 245 billion pesos in receipts from international visitors during the first six months of the year 2019. It was noted that the corresponding total receipts from six-month arrivals increased by 17.57% from the half-year gross revenues in 2018. In the data provided by the DOT Statistics, Economic Analysis and Information Management Division (SEAMID), the highest monthly receipts of 48 billion pesos was in the month of February. . . . . .

(The opening statements of CHED Com. Aldrin A. Darilag)

(An excerpt of the speech of Com. Aldrin Darilag)

This massive development comes alongside with the government efforts to improve infrastructure, such as the proposed rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International airport, expansion of Clark International airport, . . . The opening and expansion of airports, as well as, the improvement in the roads and transport systems in the different regions in the Philippines will attract not only more tourists but investors as well. This only proves that the Philippines is truly a beautiful country. It is rich in terms of natural resources, happy and resilient people, everyone can speak English, and everything is affordable, thus our country’s official tourism tagline is “Its’s more fun in the Philippines”. . . .

The Philippines has become a favorite travel destination over the years. The Tourism, Hospitality and Hotel Industry is gaining more positive impact on our country, some of which are:

  • Increased employment levels in related industries like hotel, travel agencies, transportation.
  • Reasonable foreign currency income for the state
  • Increased income for the local economy
  • Marked development for tourism economy
  • Preservation of rural services like buses, village shops and post offices
  • Sustenance of domestic airlines and shipping
  • Better awareness in the Philippines of foreign cultures, traditions and needs of tourists
  • Increased efforts to conserve habitats and wildlife, and
  • Increased demand for local food and crafts.

HEI’s should look into this and align the programs offered to our students. They must possess the basic competencies upon graduation. CHED is now reconstituting the Technical Panels, and the Technical Evaluators for all disciplines, including the Hospitality Management. This is to address the need to make them relevant to the present and emerging needs of the industry. Change is inevitable. As we are experiencing right now, what is current becomes quickly outdated in a matter of months, and even days. This poses a great deal of challenge that our HEIs and industries must face.

  1. A study conducted among Switzerland’s Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne faculty in 2018 provides insights on past and new challenges, opportunities that the hospitality players need to take into consideration.
    Numerous booking applications have surfaced and shared in social networks, as such, there is an increased transparency in the offers of facilities and services.
  2. Airbnb represents major disruption in the hotel industry, making the competitive landscape tougher than ever, especially that Airbnb do not necessarily have to comply with the same rules and regulations than traditional hotels.
  3. Online Travel Agents have altered distribution channels and consequently taken value away from hoteliers. Hoteliers have to pay to get access to customers, leading to thinner profit margin for the former.
  4. Apps, in particular, have increasingly played important roles in the way hoteliers manage the services they provide to their customers and can now control many aspects of the guest cycles and experiences.
  5. The low cost carriers enable more people to travel the world at a reasonable price.
  6. Customers request extreme personalization, unique experiences and others. As this promotes independent travel experience, the travel agent may soon lose his job.
  7. Asset management practices. The asset-light approach has become prevalent in the industry. The separation between the management of operations and real-estate assets now allows hospitality companies to focus on their core business, thus improving efficiencies.
  8. Professionalization. New job profiles have emerged following the increasing complexity of the hospitality industry.
  9. Generation Y & Z. These new generations have different requirements and needs compared to older generations. A respondent said that “Older generation think about hotels and car rentals, while younger generations think about Airbnb and Uber”.
  10. Sustainability. People are becoming increasingly sensitive to environmental and social issues. People are now aware of window dressing.

These are also the challenges that our local industry is facing at the moment. AAHRMEI has a big role in helping our HEI’s become responsive and relevant. We have to address the huge paradigm shift in education as we are all in the technological fast lane. Review your program offerings, be proactive, think ahead and always have a clear vision of the future.

In as much as we value and consider traditions, we must overcome this change because it defines what our standing will be in terms of providers of quality education in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Enhance and develop your faculty, equip them well so they can be excellent and effective educators. Take care of them, treat them with equity and justice. A happy and contented pool of faculty will help produce great outcomes for your HEI’s.

Give your students meaningful exposures and experiences; allow them to explore so that they can deliver better service and can be creative with ideas. Let us produce graduates with the 21st century competencies who can live and work in a diverse multicultural setting. Be relevant to the community where your HEI is located; collaborate with the Local Government units; have a healthy complementary relationship with both private and public institutions, as well as, with large and small scale industries. And help us shape the country for a brighter and more progressive future.

On our end, CHED supports innovative and cutting edge projects. With CHED at the end of the helm of state-subsidized higher education institutions, the programs are ensured to support national, regional or local development goals and that their physical and natural environments are maintained to showcase the beauty of the Philippines while students indulge in an “intellectual and scholarly life.”

Finally, let me end by sharing the words of napoleon Hill, “Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination of success.” As members of this organization, you have already crossed a lot of bridges and withstood many storms, but you always came out victorious against odds. Be patient as you resolve concerns that come your way. Be persistent with improving standards. And work hard for AAHRMEI to attain its objectives supporting CHED< TESDA, DOT and other agencies to complement other organizations in order to pursue quality and excellence in Hospitality education.

God bless everyone and Mabuhay tayong lahat!