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From the Governor of Phuket Tri Augkaradacha

The Governor of Phuket launching reuse bags with SEEK, K Jirasak and Wichit Tambon


Tri Augkaradacha took up the position of Phuket Governor in October 2009 after serving almost four years as vice governor. 

Since his appointment as Governor, he has written a regular monthly column for the Phuket Gazette. This was his New Year message:

PHUKET: “ON THIS special occasion I would like to wish everyone a very happy 2012. I would like to send my warmest regards and love to all Phuket residents, both Thai and foreign. 

The overall situation in Thailand during the past year was not so good and the flooding in central Thailand had a wide-ranging impact. Although Phuket was lucky not to have been directly affected, we were still affected economically.

Fortunately, the flood situation is now back to normal and everything is getting better. I would like everyone to leave all the bad things that happened over the last year behind and start afresh in the new year. 

Phuket has developed into a world-class tourist destination, which means we have to develop our human resources accordingly. We also have to ensure the safety of tourists and residents alike, allowing them to live here in peace. This requires a reduction in the crime rate and beautifying the island, so that it can rightly be called a ‘reception room’ and gateway to the entire Kingdom. 

Phuket is just one of five provinces that comprise the Andaman tourism cluster. The others are Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang, and Ranong. With Phuket at the center, I would like to encourage people to travel to all the Andaman coastal provinces, all of which have many interesting attractions.

We have promoted Andaman coast tourism with two roadshows, the Andaman Explorer and Andaman Trade Travel Fair. These events provided the perfect chance for buyers to meet sellers. We have also promoted Andaman region tourism outside of Thailand and are very pleased with the positive feedback we got at these events.

There are still many people concerned about the readiness of the tsunami and natural disaster warning system in Phuket and other Andaman coastal provinces. Actually, the system is good already but I have developed a plan to improve it even further.

With a budget of 140 million baht, we plan to build a central warning center for the Andaman coast here in Phuket. We will install high-technology components, equipment and facilities, including a telecommunication center and an information technology database center able to link with other warning centers along the Andaman coast.

We already have 19 warning towers installed in Phuket and we plan to have the complete warning center for all five Andaman coastal provinces ready by the end of this year.

I would really like everyone who lives in or visits Phuket to feel safe here. I hope the projects I have planned will be nice presents for both local residents and visitors to the province. I hope we can continue to attract more people to Phuket, especially quality tourists. And of course I hope that we can screen out the con artists, mafia and other troublemakers to make Phuket a better place to live.

Support for plastic reduction on Phuket and anti litter drive:

PHUKET: Vichit Municipality has given 1,000 cotton bags to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha to support his campaign to rid the island of plastic bags. Part of the initiative involves giving away 840,000 cotton bags to mark HM the King’s 84th birthday.

Krita Saetan, Mayor of Vichit, handed over the high-quality bags – each costing B100 – to the governor and to Jirasak Thummawet, head of the Phuket Energy office.

Mr Jirasak told The Phuket News, “Vichit Municipality is the first organisation to donate cotton bags to the project but Thepkrasattri Municipality have told us they will pay for 200 bags and Tesco-Lotus will be the first of the supermarket companies to contribute; they will donate B1.2 million for cotton bags this week.”

Others chipping in will include two hotels that will fund the Cherng Talay Municipality to produce bags, while 7-Eleven has requested a copy of the project logo so that it can produce cotton bags that it will distribute through its stores around the island.

The new SEEK Phuket Foundation (SEEK stands for Society, Environment, Economy, Knowledge) has been talking with giant businesses such as Siam Cement, Boonrawd Brewery, Kasikorn Bank and others to try to persuade them to contribute.

Mr Jirasak said, “We estimate that making 840,000 bags will cost between B30 to B40 million. We will start handing out bags on December 5. People who want to get a cotton bag (one per person) can go to Phuket Provincial Hall with their ID card or passport and 20 plastic bags to make the exchange.”

Starting from February 27 next year, large stores such as Central, Big C, Robinson, Jungceylon and Tesco will begin weaning the people of Phuket off plastic bags, by reserving one day a week on which no plastic bags will be handed out to shoppers.

Full details of how this will work will be announced closer to the time

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