Around 30,000 beneficiaries entitle to receive financial assistance from DOT & DOLE

Baguio City – City Official led by Congressman Mark Go, Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Vice-mayor Faustino Olowan, some city councilor and BLISTT Mayors, the presence of La Trinidad mayor Romeo Salda, to welcome the number one tourist and advocate for the city of Baguio DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to conduct the awarding of DOT, DOLE financial assistance certificates to displaced tourism workers at the Wright Park Gazebo in Monday afternoon.

According to Congressman Go, “This is the biggest contribution that we will get from the Depatment of Tourism in terms of support to our tourism industry this is provided for under the Bayanihan 2 or Republic Act 11464 the Bayanihan 2 provides P165 Billion support  of the government to our people and the DOT provided about  P4.1 billion P3 billion of this 4.1 B is allocated for the cash for work for our displaced workers in the tourism industry and out of this P3B the City of Baguio is going to be given today, I think about P150M this is the biggest so far, through the Department of Labor and Employment and the other P1B out of P4.1B is actually for tourism infrastructure program and I hope that we will also share from the P1B, and of course the P100M out of the P4.1B is allocated for the training of our people involved in tourism and I hope all of us will participate in this training that will be conducted by the DOT,”

Mayor Magalong said “30,000 beneficiaries which equivalent to P150 Million and sharing to BLISTT mayor whatever benefits that we get in the city of Baguio we have to share with a BLISTT and with other provinces. Malaki na ang naitulong ng DOT sa atin noong nagkaroon tayo ng PILOT testing ng Antigen sila ang gumastos nito, tumulong rin sa ibang mga proyekto at itong lately nagbigay rin ng pondo para sa mga signage para sa tourist spot, ganun rin sa development park ng Burnham Park, outright nagbigay siya ng P480 million kaya lang hindi niya kasalanan kung bakit nawala yun pondo dahil unfortunate, there is an pandemic kaya yun pera kinuha ng Department of Finance but sinabi ni Secretary “we are not abandoning the project”, once na magkaroon uli ng pondo, they’re going to have fast develop our Burnham Park,”

In the statement of the DOT Secretary Puyat,  she commend to the city of Baguio, Province of Benguet and the entire CAR for pro-actively responding to the call to make the Bayanihan Act 2 Cash assistance program accessible to the displaced to flexi hours workers in the area.

“We are in this fight against the effects of this pandemic and I am grateful for the help provided by each sector of this industry. Last October we signed with Sec Bello the DOT, DOLE joined memorandum circular which contains specific guidelines for Bayanihan 2 that P3 billion for displaced and flexi hours tourism workers and P100 million for tourism guides, pero ang DOT ay nagbibigay na ng training kung pwede lang ay cash na lang lahat yun dahil marami ng training, kaya naman ibigay ng DOT yun for free, I think the more we could give mas kailangan talaga ng industriya,  narito ang guidelines for the assistance for tourism workers, community based tourism organization and tour guides who will all displaced due to the pandemic , this program with the DOLE provides financial assistance not only to displaced workers pero yun mga flexi hours ngayon, noong una kasi sa DOLE gusto lang displace, sabi namin kailangan naka flexi rin kasi under employed kulang pa rin yun sweldo nila at yun mga nakakuha na sa CAMP 1 puwede pa rin makakuha ngayon, kasi maliit lang naman nakuha nila na P5,000 yun lang naman ang gusto natin makatulong sa lahat, the program covers yun priority all the employees  ng DOT accredited, pangalawa ay yun LGU licensed, I suggest na lahat kayo ay magpa accredit na, libre naman, dahil yun ang laging nauuna of course displaced employees, DOT accredited also yun secondary enterprises kasama yun mga restaurants, spa, massage, LGU licensed primary tourism enterprises and workers in the community based tourism organization.

Noong mag usap kami ni mayor sa Boracay ay nalungkot ako bakit 4,000 lang ang beneficiaries, parang hindi ako makapaniwala na apat na libo lang ang naapektuhan but, I’d like to think na puwede pa natin dagdagan ito? Kasi when you think of Baguio and CAR talagang turismo ito, including farm tourism nasa ilalim na namin yan kasama ng lahat employees sa farm tourism so, at last count the DOT-CAR has already endorsed 26,972 beneficiaries out of this endorsed beneficiaries, DOLE-CAR has already approved 10,555 applications pending pa yun iba for a total of P134,860,000. This is part of the national government initiative to mitigate the difficulties brought about by this pandemic. The Bayanihan would have ended on December 19 but the House and the senate asked for an extension so, we hope na hindi ito ang deadline we can give more,  ayaw kong ibalik sa treasury ito, ibigay naman natin sa mga naapektuhan na tourism workers,”

The DOT secretary acknowledge the recipients which represented by the following sector Creative Arts and Crafts, the vendors, events and entertainment, restaurants, transportation, travel and tour agencies, tour guides, tourism training center, community based training organization and in addition the propose come from Congressman Go to include also the Baguio media and it was approved by the secretary because,  she said the media is also a big help to tourism, if there is no media covering our event definitely there is no stories for promotion of the tourism and pictures of the beauty of Baguio and the Cordillera. “The DOT hopes that this program conducted in partnership with the DOLE will help you get through this difficult period as we continue our effort to the recovery of the domestic tourism it is our goal to make tourism related businesses and enterprises flourish once again. Leading tomorrow opportunities for descent jobs and stable life,” said by Secretary.

Mario Oclaman