SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy.—The State shall promote, encourage and develop tourism as a major national activity in which private sector investment, effort and initiative are fostered and supported, and through which socio-economic development may be accelerated, foreign exchange earned, international visitors offered the opportunity to travel to the Philippines and appreciate its natural beauty, history and culture, and Filipinos themselves enabled to see more of their country and imbued with greater pride in and commitment to the nation.
SECTION 2. Mandate.—The Department of Tourism shall be the primary government agency charge with the responsibility to encourage, promote and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity to generate foreign currency and employment and to spread the benefits of tourism to a wider segment of the population with the support, assistance and cooperation of both the private and public sectors, and to assure the safe, convenient, enjoyable stay and travel of the foreign and local tourists in the country.
SECTION 3. Powers and Functions.—The Department shall have the following powers and functions:
(1) Formulate policies, plans, programs and projects for the development of the tourism industry;
(2) Administer, coordinate and supervise all activities of the Government concerning tourism;
(3) Advise the President on the promulgation of laws relative to the policy, plans, programs and projects designed to promote and develop the tourism industry;
(4) Effect the removal of unnecessary barriers to travel, the integration and simplification of travel regulations as well as their efficient, fair and courteous enforcement to assure expeditious and hospitable reception of all tourists and travelers;
(5) Represent the government in all such conferences and meetings concerning tourism and travel and discharge such responsibilities of the government as may arise from treaties, agreements and other commitments on tourism and travel to which it is signatory;
(6) Formulate standards for tourism-oriented establishments that will prescribe minimum levels of operating quality and efficiency in order to ensure that facilities, personnel and services are maintained in accordance with acceptable local and international norms in the operations of tourism-oriented establishments;
(7) Approve the construction standards of accredited tourism-oriented establishments including hotels, resorts, inns, motels and other related facilities and services and prescribe information reporting on the purchase, sale or lease of the said establishments and facilities;
(8) Provide the protection, maintenance and preservation of historical, cultural and natural assets which are tourist attractions with the appropriate government agencies or with the private sector or with the owners of said assets or attractions;
(9) Undertake research studies and surveys for the continuing analysis of economic conditions and trends relating to tourism and maintain a statistical data bank on the tourism industry;
(10) Design programs to encourage private-sector investment and participation in tourism activities and projects;
(11) Set up and organize foreign field offices for the purpose of overseeing all marketing and promotional activities and implementing programs of the Department;
(12) Arrange, whenever deemed appropriate, for the reclamation of any land adjacent to or adjoining a tourist zone in coordination with appropriate government agencies;
(13) Delegate any specific powers and functions in favor of the regional offices to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public service;
(14) Enlist the aid, assistance and support of any and all government agencies, civil or military, in the implementation of the provisions of laws pertaining to the Department or of its rules and regulations;
(15) Exercise such powers and functions as may be necessary, proper, or incidental to the attainment of its mandate;
(16) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
SECTION 4. Organizational Structure.—The Department shall consist of the Department Proper, Department Services, Bureaus and Offices, Regional Offices and Foreign Field Offices.
The Department Proper shall consist of the Offices of the Secretary and Undersecretaries which shall be responsible for the preparation and development of policies, plans, programs and projects of the Department.