Tourism aid expanded

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    Workers in the tourism sector displaced by the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic will benefit from an expanded financial assistance from government.

    The Department of Tourism (DOT) is urging tourism workers affected by the closure of establishments or those which scaled down operations, to immediately avail of the Expanded Coverage of Beneficiaries under Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2020-001 of the DOT and the Department of Labor and Employment which extends the aid to beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Social Amelioration Program and COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program under Bayanihan 1; workers of affected establishments that implemented flexible work arrangements or alternative work schemes and; local government unit-licensed secondary tourism enterprises.

    “This initiative will widen the scope of recipients of this financial assistance program and accommodate those who have already availed of existing programs open to the tourism sector. Hopefully, the program’s take-up rate significantly improves to reach more members of the micro-, small- and medium-enterprises and more importantly, those belonging to the informal sector,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat in statement.

    Puyat urged the tourism enterprises, associations and LGUs to help in providing the documentary requirements for their affected employees or members.

    The expanded coverage also allows for the issuance by the DOT of training vouchers to endorsed tour guide associations or groups for the conduct of a relevant training for its qualified members no later than June 30, 2021.