SOME 23,293 displaced tourism workers from Central Visayas have been approved to receive cash assistance under the Department of Tourism (DOT)–Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Cash Assistance Program of the Bayanihan 2 amounting to P116,465,000.
Of the total, 11,327 beneficiaries have been identified in Cebu Province; 8,513 workers in Bohol; 1,564 in Negros Oriental; and 1,889 workers in Siquijor.
Each displaced tourism worker will receive P5,000.
During the virtual awarding of certificates on Friday, April 30, 2021, some 1,594 beneficiaries from 16 Bohol-based establishments were acknowledged, with workers coming from tourism support services, resorts, restaurants, community-based tourism organizations and transportation, among others.
“These are but a few of the many programs the DOT has taken part or initiated to help the tourism industry of Bohol recover. We are counting on the continued support of our local government units (LGU) and the private sector to spur recovery forward,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat in her opening message.
The DOT and Dole Joint Memorandum 1 series of 2020 cites Section 4 of the Bayanihan 2 Act, which directs DOT to assist critically affected tourism enterprises, while Section 10 of the same law mandates the Dole and DOT to work together in providing cash assistance to DOT-accredited tour guides and LGU–licensed tour guides to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 in the industry. The assistance is also extended to members of community-based tourism organizations and tourism support services.
Moreover, Puyat also disclosed the DOT’s programs and products that will jumpstart the revival of tourism in Bohol Province, such as the development of “Farm, Fork and Fitness: A Mountain to Sea Circuit to Wellness,” the Bohol Province Run featuring outdoor adventure trails and the Bohol Culinary Circuit underscoring the gastronomic traditions of Panglao, Loon, Jagna, Loay and Baclayon.
“At each of our destinations, we are collaborating with the LGUs, stakeholders and tourism workers and the local communities to develop tourism destination products that will jumpstart the revival of tourism,” Puyat said.
As of April 15, there are 1,045 DOT-accredited accommodations in Central Visayas, an increase of 541.10 percent compared to the same period last year. (KOC)