- MITCH M. LIPA
A total of 19,575 Negrenses working in tourism-related industries in Negros Occidental have applied for the cash assistance program of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Labor and Employment in Region 6 as of Feb. 8, 2021.
Provincial Senior Tourism Officer Jennylind Cordero said the number is expected to increase as other tourism-related businesses from the different local government units have yet to submit their list of qualified beneficiaries for the P5,000 financial assistance from the Bayanihan 2 fund.
The workers came from 500 businesses operating in the province, she said.
Cordero said the industry workers either belong to community-based tourism organizations, associations, enterprises and support services.
Covered by the program are workers in primary and secondary businesses, as long as they have business permits from local government units.
The employee-applicants will be required to submit a copy of their payroll to qualify under direct tourism business.
Those in tourism-related organizations that are recognized by local tourism offices must submit their list of members signed by their president.
Cordero also said that since the pandemic, the province posted a 73 percent drop in overnight accommodation and a negative 60 percent for day tourist was recorded in 2020 compared to the year ago level.
Provincial Tourism Office records showed that in 2020, there were only 894,072 day time tourists from 2,241,715 in 2019, a difference of 1,347,643 visitors.
For overnight tourists, there were only 232,899 bookings made from 858, 995 in 2019 or a difference of 626,396.
Cordero said the figure is almost the same as the world data showing a negative 74 percent drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – MML