IN a joint meeting of the Committees on Economic Affairs and Tourism on Wednesday, Economic Affairs Chair Sharon Garin (Party-list, AAMBIS-OWA) expressed confidence that the Philippine tourism industry will soon recover from the COVID-19 scare.
Upon the directive of House Speaker Alan Peter “Compañero” S. Cayetano, Economic Affairs Chair Sharon Garin and Tourism Chair Sol Aragones (3rd District, Laguna) met with representatives from various agencies, such as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Health (DOH) Department of Finance (DOF) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) to assess the effect of the COVID-19 on tourism and the whole economy and discuss plans to cushion its impact.
“We urge tourism stakeholders from the private sector to continue working with us so as to prevent the displacement of workers affected and the disruption of growth in the tourism industry,” said Cayetano.
In an earlier statement, Cayetano stressed the importance of preparing a contingency plan in ensuring that the tourism growth of the country will not be derailed in the next few months. He vowed to support initiatives to revitalize the tourism industry, which contributed 12.7 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2018, and to promote domestic tourism in the Philippines.
In 2018, the Philippines registered 111 million domestic tourists in 2018, surpassing the 86 million domestic tourists target for 2022 under the National Tourism Development Plan. Domestic expenditure also grew to a whopping P3.2 trillion in 2018 from the P508.8 billion in 2009.
Tourism Vice Chair Edgar Chatto (1st District, Bohol) also manifested confidence in the tourism industry, which contributes 10 percent to the global work force and global production.
Meanwhile, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reassured the general public that efforts are being undertaken by the Department to soften the impact of the virus crisis.