Legarda wants P30 billion ‘bridge fund’ for reeling restaurant industry
MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Loren Legarda cited that the country’s restaurant industry is in dire straits due to the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
This is why the now Deputy Speaker Legarda filed House Bill No. 7610 or Restaurant Industry Revival Act seeking to revive the restaurant industry via a P30-billion “bridge fund.”
Legarda said many of the restaurants had to temporarily halt operations due to the imposition of community quarantines aimed to curb the surge of COVID-19.
“The food service industry is in dire crisis. The changes in regulations and restrictions due to the outbreak have severely affected the global and domestic economies. One of the sectors badly affected is the restaurant industry. This pandemic has changed the industry’s landscape, affecting its business operations, retail to customers, and logistic services,” Legarda said in a statement.
Legarda’s proposal also aims to provide tax incentives and rent extension to support struggling restaurant owners in sustaining their business operations.
“It has been a challenge for restaurant owners and operators to sustain their businesses, sacrificing sales revenue, balancing their remaining cash flows to cover rental, taxes, and other fees while ensuring that they can still provide daily wages to their employees,” she said.
“We have already recorded a 44% drop in foodservice sales in 2020, and many establishments need to downsize or cease operations.”
Legarda added that bridge funding and payments extension under the Restaurant Industry Revival Act would help the industry transition to better normal reducing food wastage, sustaining biodiverse agriculture, and ensuring that employees are protected as they continue with their operations.
The country’s economy has been badly battered by COVID-19 in 2020 and was making a slow rebound in 2021. However, a spike in COVID cases recently is expected to affect the country’s gains.
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