Frasco thanks lawmakers for P2.7B DOT budget
CLARK FREEPORT --- Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco thanked the House of Representatives for approving "swiftly" the proposed budget of the Department of Tourism (DOT) during the plenary deliberations on Tuesday (September 19).
DOT expressed gratitude to the leadership of the House of Representatives and its members for supporting the passage and increase of the agency's proposed budget for fiscal year 2024.
The agency said the lawmaker's support reflects their recognition of tourism as an essential economic pillar for the country.
Given the fiscal tools to expand, DOT said it may increase the P1.87 trillion in visitor receipts and 5.35 million jobs contributed to economy.
"We thank as well our tourism champion Isabela Representative Faustino "Inno” Dy, V. We assure the lower House of Congress that our budget will be utilized with utmost efficiency, transparency, and accountability turning into reality President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s vision of transforming the Philippines into a tourism powerhouse in Asia,” Frasco sai d.
The agency said that while the tourism industry has had robust recovery in the first year of the Marcos Administration, there is still much to be done to improve and increase competitiveness especially on the aspects of infrastructure, connectivity, digitalization, and equalization of tourism development across the country.
"We remain committed to take on the challenge of transformation inspired by our President’s prioritization of tourism,” added the tourism chief.
As of September 19, 2023, the DOT said it has recorded 3, 877,183 visitor arrivals, or 80.77 percent of the department’s 4.8 million target for 2023.
At the budget hearing carried out by the HOR Committee on Appropriations, Frasco presented the DOT's budget and necessary resources enclosed in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for next year, which consists of an allocation of P2.99 billion which encompasses the budget for its attached agencies.
The amount, with a significant decrease from the DOT's P3.7 billion budget for the current year, prompted lawmakers to bat for the increase in the budget, according to the agency.
The lawmakers noted the significant contribution of the tourism industry to the Philippine economy.
"While tourism has been identified by the President as one of the pillars of our economic recovery, it continues to receive one of the lowest budget among the national Agencies, in fact, it was reduced by about a billion pesos