The Department of Tourism (DOT) is allocating approximately PHP6 billion to spur Philippine tourism amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19) outbreak, Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said on Wednesday.
She said the amount will cover international and domestic promotions, infrastructure as well as regional tourism development.
The funding is part of the measures the Philippine government has put in place to mitigate the economic impact of the looming pandemic to the tourism sector, she added.
"And we are happy to note that our government is all out in ensuring that the threat of this looming pandemic is contained, at least in the Philippines," she said in a press conference.
The amount was announced after the DOT held an emergency Tourism Coordinating Council (TCC) meeting with several government agencies and tourism stakeholders.
During said meeting, the agency identified "strategic approaches to arrest the negative effects" caused by the global health scare on the industry.
Of the PHP6 billion allocation, Romulo Puyat said at least PHP421 million is earmarked to develop a new campaign for domestic travel and a total of PHP467 million to create content that targets emerging countries unaffected by Covid 19.
For tactical programs, conducting international events, and market development initiatives, a total of PHP725 million has been allocated.
Romulo Puyat said the DOT will also waive participation fees, amounting to PHP11.2 million, from the private sector joining international travel and trade fairs from February 17 to June 30, 2020.
Meanwhile, a total of PHP1.6 billion will be devoted to the night rating of secondary airports under the iLIPAD Program and at least PHP85 million for Covid 19 preparedness, response, and protocols among industry stakeholders.
To aid local government units in developing tourism masterplans, the DOT has allocated PHP400 million and an additional PHP2.280 billion for infrastructure developments, Romulo Puyat said.
She said it remains safe to travel around the Philippines, highlighting the fact that it does not have any local transmissions of the disease.
Source: Philippines News Agency