One-time cash, cash-for-work offered to displaced tourism workers

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    TOURISM workers have the option of getting one-time cash assistance or joining a cash-for-work program if they were among those who were displaced when the tourism industry shut down because of the lockdowns that the government imposed to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    Under Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2020-001 inked between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) last October 30, displaced employees of tourism enterprises accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) are eligible to apply for the cash-for-work program or avail of a one-time financial assistance equivalent to P5,000.

    Likewise eligible are workers employed by local government unit (LGU)-licensed primary tourism enterprises that have retrenched its workforce or undergone temporary or permanent closure.

    Industry records show that displaced employees of 7,951 DOT-accredited primary tourism enterprises and an estimated 8,433 LGU-licensed primary tourism ventures will benefit from the program.

    The program has an allocation of P3 billion under Section 4 of the Bayanihan to Recover As One (Bayanihan 2, or 11494).

    Members of duly registered community-based tourism organizations (CBTOs) that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are likewise qualified to avail of the cash assistance and apply for the cash-for-work program.

    The joint circular also provides guidelines on how distressed DOT-accredited or LGU-licensed tour guides can avail of cash assistance as made available for them under the Bayanihan 2.

    A tour guide may be entitled to avail of the P5,000 one-time financial assistance or cash-for-work program provided he/she is a member of a tour guide organization or association that has been registered with a relevant LGU or national government agency on or before December 31, 2019, must have a valid DOT accreditation or an LGU license, issued not later than August 31 this year, and must undergo the relevant training for tour guides to be conducted by the DOT after applying for financial assistance.