Press Release
June 2, 2020

Tolentino bats for inclusion of micro businesses in tourist spots in stimulus package

Administration Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino has batted for the inclusion of micro businesses in tourist destinations in the plan to assist industries affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"Eighty percent sa mga negosyo sa ating tourist spots ay micro businesses. Baka magaya tayo sa US na ang nakinabang lang ay yung malalaking negosyo," Tolentino said during his interpellation on Senate Bill No. 1564 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

The measure provides a stimulus package for businesses and industries to jumpstart the local economy that has been severely crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tolentino told the bill's principal sponsor, Sen. Sonny Angara, that micro businesses also need assistance from the government to get back on their feet.

"Papaano na po iyong mga taga-Sagada? Wala naman siguro silang kakayahan na makakuha ng ganitong stimulus as stated in law," said Tolentino.

Tolentino suggested that the bill should include the creation of a tourism roadmap, which would include ways on how to address the concern of micro businesses in the tourist destinations once domestic tourism is allowed in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas.

"This bill should include ways on how jumpstart our tourism industry. The creation of a roadmap would provide us with glimpse on how our tourism would address this. Paano ba babangon ang tourism natin?" said Tolentino, adding that the country should learn from Vietnam on how to revive the industry.

"There is no more opportune time than to help the tourism industry than today," he added. The roadmap should also include thousand of festivities, which Tolentino considers as drivers of the country's domestic tourism industry.

The Senator also wants local government unit (LGUs) to extend a helping hand to micro businesses in their areas by providing grants through the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) Act.

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