Due to high demand from members of the industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched its own cash assistance program to aid tourism workers and establishments severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Qualified tourism workers and DOT-accredited tour guides may receive a one-time cash grant of P5,000, while tourism businesses may apply for a 0%-interest loan with a maximum amount of P3-million.
DOT MIMAROPA regional director Engr. Chris Morales said in an interview Monday that the department is targeting 600,000 tourism workers nationwide for the “Financial Assistance and Cash-for-Work Program.”
He added that the program was launched because of high demand from members of the industry. The program will also accept applicants who have already received aid or have submitted applications to previous government aid programs, such as the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
“Before kasi, we do not have any financial assistance specifically for the tourism industry. Just the normal DSWD SAP, and the DOLE CAMP. Due to the recommendation, as well as ‘yong push ng industry as well as ni Sec. [Bernadette Romulo-Puyat] na rin, nagkaroon ng specific budget for tourism financial assistance sa Bayanihan, so isa na rito ang Financial Assistance or Cash-for-Work,” he added.
Applicants of the program are not required to render services to avail the program. A one-time grant of P5,000 will be given to accepted applicants, while LGU-accredited tour guides will be required to undergo health and safety trainings as part of their enrichment.
“For LGU-accredited tour guides, bibigyan sila ng voucher that states that they need to undergo health and safety training,” said Morales.
The DOT is also looking into expanding the program to non-DOT accredited establishments that are considered “secondary tourism enterprises,” such as restaurants and spas. These establishments do not require DOT accreditation but have been affected by the global pandemic.
“Tinitingnan din ng DOT kung puwede i-include ang mga secondary establishments. Hindi kasi sila lahat required magkaroon ng DOT accreditation, kasi ang required lang naman ay ang mga tour operator, events and MICE companies, at mga accommodations,” he said.
Tourism workers from DOT-accredited establishments need to have their employers submit the needed documents to the proper channels. More information, such as the needed documents and where to submit them, can be found on the DOT official website.