Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday committed to help in the promotion of the tourism and agriculture industry in provinces greatly affected by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
During the Network Briefing News virtual program, Andanar expressed his support in helping the city government of Vigan showcase the city’s economic sectors.
“Ang opisina ko po ay opisina rin po ninyo. Whatever you need, assistance sa media, sa PTV, Radyo Pilipinas, Philippine News Agency, lahat po ng government media machinery ay nasa disposal po ninyo (My office is your office as well. Whatever you need assistance from the media, such as PTV, Radyo Pilipinas, Philippine News Agency. All government media machinery is at your disposal),” he told Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlo Medina.
Measures against preventing the spread of the disease have dramatically affected the tourism sector and the livelihood of its workers.
Medina said they have crafted policies in response to pandemic and are closely coordinating with the private sectors, to help them recover while there is a Covid-19 crisis.
Aside from allowing hotels to accommodate front-liners, he said the city government is also partnering with local cooperatives in offering loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises with 10 months moratorium.
“We have also partnered with a local cooperative here. Naglagay po tayo ng pondo. Para po magbigay ng loan para sa ating mga MSMEs na tinamaan din po nitong pandemya (We have also partnered with a local cooperative here. We allocated funds so that we can offer loans to our micro, small and medium enterprises that were affected by this pandemic),” he said.
Medina said the 10 months moratorium would allow MSMEs to earn before they start paying their loans.
As early as January this year, Medina said Vigan City, widely known for its picturesque Hispanic architecture, has reported that the number of tourists dipped from the expected 150,000 to about 20,000.
“Ang pinaka-affected talaga sa amin ang tourism sector. January pa lamang naramdaman na po namin. We were expecting 150,000 tourists coming to Vigan. Ang dumating lang po ay 20,000 [For us, the tourism sector was greatly affected. Even at the start of January, we already felt it. We expected that 150,000 tourists will be coming to Vigan but only 20,000 came],” he said.
He also noted that the temporary stoppage of operations in the industry from March to May, has incurred about PHP250-million loss for the local economy. (PNA)