The Tourism Department is hopeful that the tourism sector will recover from the community quarantine and restore the jobs lost by millions of Filipinos.
“ I have high hopes that the significant share of employment the tourism industry provides, as consistently indicated by the PSA’s [Philippine Statistics Authority] annual reports, will help spur our sector’s recovery from the impact of this pandemic,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
Puyat based her optimism on the PSA report on the industry’s performance last year, which indicated an increase in tourism jobs of some 350,000, from 5.36 million to 5.71 million jobs. This represents an increase of 6.5 percent over the number of jobs in 2018.
She said the industry’s 13.5 percent share in the total employment in the country means that 14 out of 100 employed Filipinos were in tourism-related jobs. Tourism has been among the industries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The recent easing of quarantine restrictions in some regions of the country has created a stir among industry stakeholders as tourism establishments, particularly the partial dine-in services in restaurants, were allowed to resume operations by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“Tourism stakeholders share the desire and determination of the nation’s labor force to get back to work as we embrace the New Normal,” Puyat said.
Puyat earlier welcomed the PSA report on the share of tourism to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing to 12.7 percent in 2019 from 12.3 percent in the previous year.
She said that the PSA report underscores the crucial role of the tourism industry as a vital component of the economy in terms of productivity and source of job opportunities.
As hard as it has been hit by massive losses, Puyat vowed that the tourism sector, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), shall bounce back with the government’s support at the national and the local levels.