Philippines enhances COVID-19 financial support for tourism industry

 Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Bicameral Conference Committee of the Philippines recently approved the allocation of 10 billion pesos (US$206 million) for the tourism industry under the “Bayanihan to Recover as One” or the Bayanihan 2 Bill. Bayanihan 2 Bill replaces the expired “Bayanihan to Heal as One” Act. The Department of Tourism (DOT) issued a statement as a response to the announcement and expressed deep gratitude to the Bicameral Conference Committee.

The country’s DOT mentioned that Bayanihan Act 2 measures will safeguard micro, small and medium establishments (MSMEs) in accommodation and food service businesses. It also informed that in terms of employment, 95.8% of the 921,292 workers in accommodation and food service activities, covered by the PSA data, are from MSMEs. According to 2018 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), 99.9% of the country’s 144,640 establishments in accommodation and food service activities are under MSMEs.

The funds for loans and credit facilities to tourism MSMEs from the Bayanihan Act 2 will be administered by Government Financial Institutions and independent government agencies such as the Small Business and Guaranty and Finance Corporation. However, the DOT is not involved in the dispensation of the funds but it has decided to support the private sector by way of crafting the tourism industry’s road to recovery with proper health and safety protocols in place, and carry out the Tourism Response and Recovery Plan. It has also decided to work with the Department of Labor and Employment to support displaced and unemployed tourism workers.

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