Press Release
February 8, 2023

Local holidays to bolster economy, tourism, post-pandemic recovery - Tolentino

MANILA - Senator Francis 'Tol' N. Tolentino said that local holidays will play a key role in reviving and bolstering the country's economic growth, three years after it was badly hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Tolentino made the remarks during Tuesday's hearing of the Senate Committee on Local Government over several pending local holiday bills, in which he bared the benefits of a 'non-working' holiday scheme during a celebration or commemoration of specific local holiday especially during this post-pandemic period.

"The reason being is that, there is really no detrimental effects to the local economy because the celebration of a holiday in an LGU (local government unit) would support two premises--One, it fosters local autonomy; two, it bolsters economy," said Tolentino.

According to Tolentino, reversing the economic trend on non-working holidays is now "needed in a post-pandemic Philippines" to further stimulate the tourism industry which is now heavily needed by every local economy.

Tolentino, who chaired the Senate local government panel during the 18th Congress stressed that any effect that would be imposed on an employer, by paying "double salary" to their personnel, "can be compensated by the upsurge of economic activities."

"(It) can be countered by the presence of local tourists spending and spending and it all goes well for the post-pandemic society that we are entering right now," he explained

"For instance in Kalibo, there will be more boat operators, there will be more restaurant owners opening their shops, and there will be more waiters, there will be more souvenir craft vendors--these will all be compensated and the day the economic upsurge is not just on the day itself, but even three days before there will be pre-Kalibo. For instance Kalibo, pre-Kalibo holiday events: concerts, more soft drinks to be delivered, more ice to be manufactured, etcetera, etcetera, so more flights to Kalibo," the senator added.

Tolentino explained that whatever extra compensation that would be made by the employers during local holidays can be recompensed by the above-mentioned economic activities.

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