Romulo-Puyat urges displaced tourism workers to take P5,000 cash assistance
BACOLOD CITY –– At least P3.1 billion has been allocated to enable qualified tourism workers displaced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to avail themselves of P5,000 each in cash assistance.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Tuesday said the displaced workers and back-to-work employees working “flexi hours” should avail of the one-time cash assistance otherwise the fund would revert to the national treasury.
So far, only 20 percent of the P3.1 billion Bayanihan 2 fund had been distributed, she said.
President Duterte has extended the deadline for displaced workers to avail themselves of financial assistance from December 2020 to June 2021.
The assistance covers employees of Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited companies and local government-licensed enterprises.
“Those who availed of wage subsidy assistance from the DOLE and the Social Security System can still avail of the DOT aid,” she said in a conference at the Seda Capitol Central in Bacolod City.
So far, P50.9 million has been distributed in Western Visayas and P8.7 million in Negros Occidental for 1,754 beneficiaries.
Puyat hoped that more individuals would avail themselves of the assistance because the tourism industry is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Those interested, she said, may visit the DOT website for details.
Puyat also urged micro, small, and medium enterprises to avail themselves of the Cares for Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of Enterprises and Livelihood (Cares for TRAVEL) Program to help sustain their businesses and keep their workers amid the pandemic.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said in his speech that local government leaders have a firm resolve to gain ground in their recovery efforts for the tourism industry.
As one of the most gifted provinces in terms of natural and human resources, Negros Occidental has a vast potential for tourism, including food tourism, farm tourism, and sports tourism.
“Given that physical distancing might be the new norm for an indefinite period, such is a double-edged sword. While it is beneficial to public health, it adds burden on the concerted efforts to revive the economy,” he said.
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