Mayor Evelio Leonardia is open for any proposal that can help the local tourism industry recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic following a Tourism Stakeholders’ Meeting, organized by the Department of Tourism, last January 19.
“If you (tourism stakeholders) have any proposal, we are willing to go over them; we are open to that. If we can hear your proposal, I can take it up with the SP (Sangguniang Panlungsod),” Leonardia told the stakeholders from the public and private sectors.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat had called for a tourism stakeholders’ meeting Tuesday to discuss with the provincial and city governments, and the various stakeholders from private and public sectors, the rehabilitation and recovery efforts of the industry to restart tourism activities.
The meeting was part of Romulo-Puyat’s three-day visit to Bacolod and some parts of Negros Occidental. One of her activities was the turnover of DOT-DOLE financial assistance for the displaced tourism workforce.
She is also visiting various farm sites, heritage houses, and food tourism areas in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental to boost domestic tourism to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the tourism industry.
Leonardia also told the stakeholders that the proposals to help the local tourism industry may involve adjustments in taxes and business permits.
The mayor assured them that due consideration will be given to these proposals. “Everybody has been affected by the pandemic. That is how big the magnitude of the current situation is,” he added.
With many businesses affected, the proposals should also contain different frameworks, the mayor said.
These frameworks can help the local government assess the impact and determine what kind of support it can provide, not just for the tourism industry but also for other stakeholders, Leonardia added.