Where Are the Funds in the Philippines?

Artworks that are now being shared among members of Tourism industry

Since the announcement of lockdown, various industries have already been asking for financial aid and while tourism industry, that includes airlines, hotels, cruises, casinos, theme parks and more have been symbols of luxury, upscale service and optimism still COVID19 has been ravaging most businesses in this sector.

Citing new data from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) president Jose C. Clemente III said tourism receipts in the past four months “dropped to P6.9 billion, versus P196.4 billion earned in the same period last year,” or a decrease of 96.5 percent.

On a cumulative basis, visitor receipts in the first seven months of 2020 amounted to P81.05 billion, a 71.5-percent decrease from P284.82 billion in the same period last year. From January to July 2020, foreign visitor arrivals slumped by some 73 percent to 1.32 million.

It might be easy to accept halting the business operations in order to comply on quarantine protocols but observing how things are going on, it seems that there are some illogical influencers that could further damage the morale and livelihood of tourism stakeholders.

Is this the best time to build infrastructures when most are at home struggling to meet both ends?

“Our health workers are burnt out with seemingly endless number of patients trooping to our hospitals for emergency care and admission,” the group, led by the Philippine College of Physicians, said in a letter to the president.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Monday said the health sector should get more budget allocation under the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

“You won’t be able to open the economy, you won’t provide any confidence if we cannot defeat the virus even before a vaccine comes along,” he said.

Under the Senate’s approved version of Bayanihan 2, only P10 billion is earmarked for efforts to ramp up COVID-19 testing and enhancement of health care services.

More loans are pouring in to the Philippines, but who’s monitoring the allocation and disbursements?

The World Bank will lend $1.9 billion in fresh loans to the Philippines this year to support projects that will help the economy bounce back from a global coronavirus pandemic. The loan will fund government projects that seek to help poor families amid the global health crisis and boost remote learning for students, said Ndiame Diop, the World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

He said it would also cover programs that seek to improve the country’s competitiveness, address supply chain issues and create jobs and livelihood.

We acknowledge the generosity but this is just one of the loans that we need to pay back with interest. In the midst of budgeting, we are also hounded by anomalies that still gives us more reasons to ask how are we dealing with graft and corruption?

This blogpost intends to raise more questions instead of answers with a hope that we can be more inquisitive in any manner we are good at. I also appeal to anyone who have influence to convince our leaders to be more committed in representing their constituents instead of their political agenda in 2022.

#ThinkSmarter

Jeoff Solas

Credits:

Tourism sector loses P190 billion in March-July

Recto: Health sector needs bigger share of budget under Bayanihan 2

Philippines to get $1.9B more in World Bank loans

‘Losing battle’: Philippine doctors, nurses urge new COVID-19 lockdowns

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