Tourism stakeholders are urging lawmakers and government to grant them the P10-billion credit facility under the proposed Bayanihan Act 2 for the speedy recovery of the sector.
The Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), along with over 50 national and regional associations representing various tourism sectors, in a statement yesterday said they hope the bicameral conference committee will adopt the Senate version of Bayanihan 2 bill in terms of loans and not doleouts.
The Senate version allocates the amount directly to micro, small and medium enterprises which account for 70 percent of the industry. These include the small tour operators, travel agencies, transport operators, resorts and hotels, restaurants, dive shops, suppliers and service providers employing the drivers, waiters, booking agents, tour guides, dive masters and other workers.
“While we acknowledge the long-term wisdom of the House version of allocating the amount to infrastructure projects under the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to help the industry’s recovery, we believe that the priority in this critical period is an emergency rescue package for tourism businesses like ours,” the groups said.
They said travel restrictions have pushed tourism companies to the brink of bankruptcy and “will surely nudge us over the edge in the coming weeks with no intervention by the government.”
The groups said the loans to be administered by state institutions Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines will help the industry rehabilitate its facilities and upgrade businesses to conform with the current health and safety standards set by the authorities.
“More importantly, (the loans will) help our employees financially,” they said, noting they are committed to paying these emergency loans as tourism restarts domestically and globally.