The Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP), an organization of provincial, municipal, and local tourism officers all over the country, partnered with the University of Santo Tomas in implementing its national programs and activities. The partnership was forged on September 3, 2019, in a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony held at Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, UST.

The University through the Graduate SchoolCenter for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET) and Center for Continuing Professional Education and Development (CCPED) will provide relevant and up-to-date training courses and certificate programs pertaining to cultural heritage tourism and heritage education and interpretation. In particular, the training will introduce new cultural heritage concepts, perspectives, and strategies for integration in tourism practice to capacitate practitioners in developing meaningful tourism programs.

In addition, the USTGS-CCCPET will assist ATOP in enhancing the categories of the coveted ATOP Pearl Awards for local government units. It will likewise embark on the digitalization of heritage and tourism data from the previous Pearl Awards winners.

The ATOP was represented in the signing ceremony by Ms. Minda Regis, Provincial Tourism of Lanao del Norte (President), Ms. Christine Dompor, Provincial Tourism Officer of Compostela Valley (Vice President for Mindanao), Ms. Allenmarie Alejo, City Tourism of San Juan City, Manila (Secretary General), Mr. Arwin Paul Lingat, City Tourism of Mabalacat City, Pampanga (Auditor), Mr. Noel Dauioag, Provincial Tourism of Davao del Norte (Secretary for Mindanao), and Ms. Jomelyn Abuan, Tourism Officer of Montalban Rizal (Regional Representative of Region IV-A). The ATOP Officers were joined by Graduate School and other UST administrators.