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DOT welcomes P58-B tourism recovery fund Date: June 27, 2020
By Alehia Abuan
Published on June 27, 2020

PARAÑAQUE CITY, June 27 (PIA) – Department of Tourism (DOT) chief Berna Romulo-Puyat on Friday happily announced the approval by Congress of the P58-billion stimulus package to fund the Tourism Response and Recovery Program (TRRP).

In her Laging Handa interview over PTV, Puyat said P58 billion TRRP allocated from the P1.3-trillion Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) would be used to revive the country’s tourism sector, which suffered serious losses due to the ongoing global health crisis.

“With stimulus package now earmarked for the tourism sector, we look to a foreseeable recovery from the industry’s massive losses,” she said.

To recall, the tourism industry is one of the hardest hit due to imposed lockdowns and restricted travel, which limited the flow of international and domestic tourists in the Philippines, a country known for its world-famous beaches, budget-friendly tour packages, and welcoming locals.

Puyat said the tourism sector lost a total of negative 60% starting January to May of 2020.

She then said there was an 8% rise in tourism in the first month of the year, but it started decreasing to negative 45% in February due to imposed travel bans because of the pandemic.

With the stimulus subsidy, Puyat said, tourism stakeholders will be able to avail zero percent interest loans, and working capital. Along with the subsidy, DOT has decided to unburden businesses and waived the accreditation fees for establishments.

DOT accredited establishments can apply for the certificate of authority to operate online. The certification will ensure that the establishment is adhering to the prescribed minimum health standards.

During the more stringent enhanced community quarantine period, however, the DOT has been closely monitoring all tourism establishments and coordinating with the respective local government units.

As the DOT encourages more domestic tourism, Puyat said future tourism plans involve ‘travel corridors or travel bubbles’ in which tourists from countries with few or zero COVID-19 cases can fly directly to the country’s COVID-free tourist destinations via international airports.

The tourism chief likewise, encouraged Filipinos to continue posting photos of the country, to buy local and support local, as well as to visit and travel local destinations once an area has started accepting tourists. (PIA-NCR)


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