Lim resigns as Tourism secretary

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2011 12:00 PM | Updated as of Aug 13 2011 03:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Saying he wants to return to private life and spend more time with his family, Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim has announced he will step down from his post on August 31.

"I would like to announce that I have tendered my resignation as head of the Department of Tourism effective August 31, 2011," he said in a Malacañang press conference on Friday.

"My reason for resigning is personal...I would like to spend more time with my family," he said, adding that his position entails a great deal of travel.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said President Aquino accepted Lim's resignation last Monday. He added Aquino has yet to choose a replacement for Lim.

However, reports said Lim may be replaced by Mon Jimenez, a marketing and media consultant for Woo Consultancy and a consultant of the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation.

Non-performing?

Lim declined to say if he was one of the officials earlier described by President Aquino as a "bearer of bad news."

He maintained that he offered to resign and was not asked to resign. He also said that his relationship with the President was "very normal."

"It started late last month, the conversation we've had. It was last Friday where we had a meeting, and there was acceptance."

"I will continue to support him (Aquino) because I believe he is a good president."

Asked to comment on criticisms he was non-performing, Lim replied: "Kung di naman totoo, hindi ko pinapansin. Ayoko maapektuhan yung trabaho ng departamento."

Lim said he is open to going back to public service, but "I would hope for a less stressful job."

"I come from the private sector, maybe I'm not accustomed to ways of government pa."

Prior to his stint in government, Lim as executive director of the Makati Business Club.

His work

As tourism chief, Lim had his share of highs and lows.

Lim's term was marked by the ill-fated "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" slogan and logo, which was shelved after allegations of plagiarism and other issues. Lim also had to deal with the aftermath of the August 2010 hostage-taking in Luneta where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed.

But it was also during his term that international visitors in the Philippines increased to an "unprecedented" level of 3.7 million between July 2010 and 2011, Lacierda said.

A tourism development plan was also crafted by Lim's department to double international arrivals by the end of President Aquino's term.

Lacierda also acknowledged Lim for being a long-time advocate of the government's "pocket open skies" policy, which was signed by Aquino in March. The policy liberalizes the aviation sector by easing restrictions on foreign airlines in select international airports outside Metro Manila.

In accepting Lim's resignation, Lacierda said: "He has been a conscientious and highly dedicated member of the President's official family. He has put in place enduring policy foundations for tourism's growth and he has done so with tenacity, integrity and vigor."

Lim said the programs he started -- Pilipinas, Tara Na!, Top Cop and Pinoy Homecoming -- will continue.

"Tuloy ang mga programa. 'Yung trabaho ng department, it doesn't end whether the secretary is there or not. The work is institutionalized."

Second resignation from Aquino cabinet

Lim is the second Cabinet official of the Aquino administration to resign.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose "Ping" de Jesus quit his post last June 30 allegedly due to personal reasons. He was replaced by Aquino's running mate in the May 2010 elections, former Trade Secretary Mar Roxas.

Before joining the Aquino government, Lim was head of a resort company, aside from being a director of the Makati Business Club.