A total of 16,756 tourism workers in Bulacan, the province that has the second highest approved beneficiaries in the region, have received cash assistance equivalent to P83.7 million from the government, Tourism Secretary Bernadette-Roulo-Puyat said on Friday.
Each beneficiary gets a one-time P5,000 cash aid from the financial assistance program of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
The tourism chief also recognized 1,814 workers from 34 tourism-related enterprises and community-based tourism organizations in the province in a hybrid ceremonial awarding of certificates.
“This province has the second highest number of approved worker beneficiaries in Region 3. To the beneficiaries who are with us today, we hope that this assistance from the government will help you and your families during this crisis,” Puyat said in her opening message.
One of the program beneficiaries, Percy Rapanot from the Bagong Barrio Multi-Purpose Cooperative, expressed his elation.
“Napakalaking tulong po ng DOT-DOLE Cash Assistance Program. Maaring maliit na halaga lamang ito para sa iba, pero malaking bagay ito para sa aming mga naapektuhan ng pandemya,” he said.
As of May 26, Bulacan has 62 existing and newly accredited accommodation establishments, 55 of which are operational.
In a bid to safely reopen Bulacan for tourism, Puyat further disclosed that the DOT is providing technical assistance to ecotourism sites in the province like the Biak-na-Bato National Park; developing tourism circuits and packages such as eco-cultural-historical circuit in Pampanga and Bulacan and the river adventure in San Rafael and Calumpit, Bulacan; and imparting online learning sessions and training workshops for industry stakeholders.
“For these and our other programs to succeed, we are counting on the full support, cooperation, and commitment of our fellow government agencies, our partners in local government and the private sector, and the local community. By being united, and working hand in hand, there is so much that we can do and accomplish,” the tourism chief added.