Pioneering regulatory tech (regtech) startup UNAWA and the local government of Taytay, Palawan have signed a Memorandum of Agreement which aims to revitalize local tourism through Pasaporte, an innovation powered by UNAWA’s Digital Transaction Hub, a suite of solutions that accelerate the digitization and signing/completion of important business documents. This digital suite includes UNAWA SafeForm™, which allows the municipality to securely collect and digitize tourism data.
The 26-page Pasaporte will be issued to visitors upon payment of the mandatory conservation and sustainable tourism fee (CSTF). It comes with a QR code, which will be scanned at each destination, as well as practical tourist information. To be launched by the last quarter of 2021, the regular Pasaporte is valid for one year while its VIP version is valid for five years.
“Data-driven policy formulation is essential to our thrust of sustainable and climate-resilient tourism development,” said Joie Matillano, Municipal Tourism Officer of Taytay, Palawan. “Pasaporte allows us to monitor tourism statistics in real-time, standardize CSTF collection and ensure its transparency, and minimize health risks.”
CSTF revenues will support the day-to-day operations of the municipal tourism office, environmental conservation efforts, capacity building initiatives for tourism stakeholders, and infrastructure development projects.
Winner of Asian Development Bank challenge
UNAWA’s Digital Transaction Hub was one of the two winners of the Digital Against COVID-19 Hackathon organized by the Asian Development Bank last November 2020.
“Out of 149 participants who entered 47 solutions from 31 countries around the world, UNAWA made it to the Top 5—and eventually ended up as a winner—showcasing the impact of its Digital Transaction Hub in helping both local government units and MSMEs reopen and transact digitally, securely, and legitimately amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney Monalisa Dimalanta, Chief Executive Officer of UNAWA.
'We’re staying true to our mission of accelerating ease of doing business and creating meaningful impact for our hard-hit sectors,” she added.
Taytay, Palawan: A bridge to new discoveries
Approximately 200 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa City and an hour away from El Nido, Taytay (which originated from the word taytayan, or “bridge” in the Tagbanua language) is known for its pristine beaches, superb diving sites, stunning wildlife, and thrilling outdoor activities. It was one of the 12 finalists in the 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards organized by World Travel & Tourism Council. The revitalization of its tourism industry is expected to boost the local economy, providing opportunities to local residents who would otherwise seek employment elsewhere.
Palawan’s Sagguniang Panlalawigan has already stated its intentions to implement the Pasaporte project across all municipalities in the province.