PBBM’s ‘holiday economics’ more beneficial, to boost local tourism

January 18, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 345 views

HOUSE Committee on Ways and Means Chairman and Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda on Wednesday said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s own version of “holiday economics” will boost domestic tourism and other related sectors without “significantly affecting the productivity of our workers or the cost of hiring Filipino employees.”

President Marcos’s policy on holidays is embodied in Proclamation 90, which he issued in 2022, to be implemented this year.

“As a result of PBBM’s policy, there will be ten long weekends this year. That will boost domestic tourism significantly, especially with ‘revenge travel’ or people trying to regain foregone experiences during COVID-19 lockdowns,” Salceda said.

Using an analysis of Input-Output tables by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Salceda said that a boost in domestic tourism by 10% will add value to several other industries.

“An increase in domestic tourism by 10% due to longer holiday weekends could result in the following (based on an analysis of input-output tables): 4.9% in personal consumption, 3.5% in final demand and total consumption, 8.8% increase in gross value-added (GVA) for trade, 5.5% increase in GVA for food manufacturing, 5.4% increase in GVA for transport, 4.4% increase in recreational activities GVA, and 5.9% increase in hospitality GVA,” Salceda said.

Salceda cautioned, however, that “Holiday economics should balance both making [long] weekends without increasing the number of total holidays.”

“PBBM did not increase the number of regular and special non-working holidays and kept it at 18. This helps maximize the tourism gains due to long weekends without increasing labor costs for industries,” Salceda said.

“An increase of the total number of holidays by one day costs industries [at] least P25.2 billion in wages without productivity or in additional wages if they require employees to work. This is especially painful for the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) sector, where wage costs are as much as 46.53% of total labor costs – and which does not benefit from increases in tourism,” Salceda added.

“Low-margin operations such as manufacturing (between 5-13%) also become unviable operations when there are too many holidays,” Salceda added.

Salceda concluded by saying that “as long as PBBM limits the number of holidays and focuses holiday economics on just keeping holidays next to each other, the policy should be very beneficial.”