DOF chief assures hotel owners of govt support amid pandemic
FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III assured hotel owners that economic recovery is “near,” stressing that the Duterte administration is doing its best to support the revival of the hospitality and tourism industries badly hit by
Dominguez said he cannot give a clear timetable for the full reopening of the economy, but he vowed that the government stands ready to support local businesses through expanded credit, lower interest rates, and ensuring fiscal prudence.
Apart from this, Dominguez said they are expecting the recently enacted Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, to leave more cash resources for businesses to sustain employment or use for investments.
“All these will help prepare the rebound of our tourism and hospitality sectors,” Dominguez told members of the Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. (PHOA) in a webinar.
“In the meantime, I urge the hotel industry to take this opportunity to maintain infrastructure systems; strengthen health and safety protocols; and embrace digitalization to be ready for the upcoming demand in travel.”
While he acknowledged that the hospitality and tourism industries have been “hardest hit” by the restrictions on movement that are necessary to contain infections, Dominguez said the threat posed by the Covid-19 Delta variant forced the government to escalate the restrictions once more.
Metro Manila is set to be under a two-week enhanced community quarantine—the strictest form of lockdown imposed by the national government—from August 6 until August 20.
“Even as we continue with quarantine measures to prevent surges in infection, we have been scaling up the vaccination program to protect our people. The success of this inoculation drive is key to a strong and sustained economic recovery,” he said.
Dominguez also said the government’s vaccination program is “on the right track,” as the country continues to receive a “steady supply of vaccines from multiple sources” and the local government units’ proven ability to administer vaccines on a wide scale.
Last week, the Philippines achieved a record number of over 659,000 doses administered in a single day and a total of 20.86 million doses have already been given to date.
On Monday, Malacañang said over 9 million individuals in the Philippines have so far been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
To achieve herd immunity, the government is aiming to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos by year-end.
“We have endured much since the outbreak of this pandemic. Nevertheless, every indicator tells us that we have gone through the worst part of this global health emergency,” he said. Hang in there. Economic recovery is near. As soon as the infections are contained, we will be ready to rise as one,” he said.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy contracted by 9.6 percent in 2020. Despite the threat of the Covid-19 Delta variant, the government’s economic team kept its projection that the Philippine economy this year will grow by 6 to 7 percent.