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The Department of Tourism (DOT) expresses optimism for the recovery of the tourism industry, following the Senate approval of the Senate Bill 1564 or the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act on its third and final reading Tuesday (July 28).

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo –Puyat said that the approval of the bill, also known as “Bayanihan 2” is a welcome development for the industry, adding that the swift passage of the much-needed legislation will help tourism with its recovery.

Also known as Bayanihan 2, which takes off from the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act approved by the government in March, the bill allocates P140 billion as the government’s additional response to the pandemic. It includes P10 billion stimulus package for the tourism industry, which is among the sectors severely affected by the pandemic.

The Tourism Chief said this will be used to implement the DOT’s plans and programs under the Tourism Response and Recovery Plan or TRRP.

“We are very thankful to the Senate finance committee chair and the Bayanihan bill sponsor Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, the rest of the esteemed members of the Senate for the passage of this important bill. This is instrumental in the DOT’s mission to help the critically impacted tourism-related enterprises, mostly micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), get back on their feet,” Puyat said.

Among the focus areas of the TRRP include the DOT’s continued assistance to tourists affected by the implementation of quarantine protocols, and capacity-building for tourism workers through re-skilling and up-skilling training programs, and implementation of measures that support the needs of destinations and businesses in the “new normal,” which includes ensuring that tourism destinations comply with global safety and sanitation standards.

“We have a daunting task ahead of us, but the collective support we are getting from the national government, LGUs, and stakeholders is very reassuring and serves as the DOT’s motivation,” Puyat said.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) echoed the optimism of the DOT with TCP President Jose Clemente III, noting that “government assistance will be vital to the tourism industry’s survival.”

Philippine tourism is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. It accounted for a 12.7 percent share of the gross domestic product (GDP), with 14 out of 100 employed Filipinos engaged in tourism-related jobs in 2019.

Published:February 11, 2021

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