At least 10,180 displaced tourism workers in Western Visayas have received a one-time financial assistance of P5,000 each under the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program of the Department of Labor and Employment.
The cash aid was provided under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act implemented through the Joint Memorandum Circular 2020-001 signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat,
“(This is part of) our ongoing efforts to support our displaced tourism workforce,” Romulo-Puyat said in a press conference held at the Seda Capitol Central hotel on Tuesday.
Through the initiative, the Department of Tourism endorsed 1,245 tourism enterprises, tour guides, and community-based tourism associations with 45,167 target-beneficiaries as of Jan. 13, 2021.
Romulo-Puyat said out of these endorsements, the DOLE-6 approved and released the pay-out for 10,180 beneficiaries amounting to PHP50.9 million.
A total of 1,754 beneficiaries were from Bacolod City and Negros Occidental with a paid out amount of PHP8.7 million.
Romulo-Puyat said Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who joined her during the press conference, committed to help the DOT in providing assistance to more displaced tourism workers in the province.
“We want more people from Negros Occidental to benefit,” she added.
The Tourism chief also said that through the Small Business Corp., the DOT will be able to provide working capital loans for small tourism enterprises, with a loan term of up to four years and grace period of up to 12 months, with zero interest rate.
“The tourism industry will just re-start and these enterprises have no income yet. Gov. (Lacson) will also help me with that,” she added.
As part of her three-day visit, Romulo-Puyat also graced the launch of the book “Negrense Heritage Cooking” at Casa Gamboa in Silay City, and held a meeting with local tourism stakeholders also at Seda Hotel on Tuesday. – NLG