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DOT to spend P6B to boost domestic tourism amid COVID-19 outbreak

The Department of Tourism (DOT) will use P6 billion from its budget to finance initiatives to boost local travel amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the amount will be spent
for international and domestic promotions, infrastructure, and regional tourism development.

"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 told reporters in Makati City.

"From our end, the DOT has identified and is working on strategic approaches to arrest the negative effects caused by this global health scare," she elaborated.

According to Puyat, the amount will be spent for the following:

  •     P421 million to develop a new campaign for domestic travel
  •     P467 million reallocated to create engaging content that will resonate with countries unaffected by COVID-19
  •     P725 million for tactical programs and participation of international events
  •     P11.2 million for direct support to the private sector (waiving of participation fees for international trade and travel fairs up to June 2020)
  •     P1.6 billion for the night rating of secondary airports
  •     P85 million for training and orientation of stakeholders on COVID-19
  •     P400 million for the crafting of local government tourism master plans
  •     P2.2 billion for infrastructure development and expansion of local government units (P500 million for Coron sewerage treatment plan and P300 million for Puerto Galera)

"The Department of Health's current data would show that traveling around the country remains sage, highlighting the fact that we don't have any local transmissions," said Puyat.

There have been three confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines so far —one died, while the other two recovered. —LDF, GMA News