DOT, DOLE grant Php 156.4 M cash aid to more than 31k displaced tourism workers in CAR

President and National Artist for Film Eric “Kidlat Tahimik” de Guia of the Victor Oyteza Community Arts and Space (VOCAS) Foundation Inc. receives the DOT-DOLE cash assistance program certificate from DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat in a ceremonial awarding held at the Baguio Country Club. I DOT Photo

Baguio City — The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) approved a total of Php 156.4 million in cash aid to 31, 273 tourism workers in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) that were displaced by the ongoing global health crisis.

The amount covers the assistance given to the workers from 774 establishments, organizations, associations in the region, including those who have applied as individuals.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat today (May 30) led the distribution of certificates of the cash assistance program of the DOT and DOLE to 6,131 displaced tourism workers in Baguio City for a total of Php 30.6 million in cash assistance. This amount is part of the Php 3.1 billion allocation under the Bayanihan 2 Act, the national government’s economic recovery program.

She was joined by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, DOT CAR OIC-Director Jovita Ganongan and DOLE CAR Technical Support and Services Division Chief George Lubin Jr.

Representing the beneficiary establishments and organizations are the heads of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, Inc.; KBP Baguio-Benguet Chapter; Baguio Wedding and Event Suppliers Organization, Inc.; Baguio Event Workers Association; Persons With Disability Masseurs, Masseuse and Tour Guide Association; Pasakalye Group of Artists Inc.; Victor Oyteza Community Arts and Space Foundation Inc.; Highlander Night Market Association; Baguio Market Vendors Multi-purpose Cooperative; and Bag-iw Night Market Vendors Association Incorporated.

“Rest assured that the DOT is doing all that it can to bring back jobs and employment to Filipino tourism workers,” Puyat said in the ceremony held at the Baguio Country Club.

She added that the DOT regional office in the CAR is implementing a number of recovery programs and projects that aim to prepare stakeholders for the return of a stronger, more resilient tourism industry. These include an ecotourism biking circuit; a nature, wellness and healing circuit; a World War 2 historical caravan; a pilgrimage tour; slow food and culinary circuits; and farm tourism.

The tourism chief is back in the region for a three-day technical inspection of tourism sites in Benguet province in preparation for the resumption of local tourism activities.

So far, ten of the 215 DOT-accredited accommodation establishments in Baguio City have already been approved to use the Safe Travels Stamp of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The stamp, an indicator that global health standardized protocols in sanitation and hygiene are being observed, was also awarded to the local government unit of Baguio City.

“For these and our other programs to succeed, we are counting on the full support, cooperation, and commitment of our fellow government agencies, our partners in local government and the private sector, and our tourism workers,” Puyat said.

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