FINANCIAL AID. Some of the recipients of the financial aid from the Department of Tourism (DOT) pose with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (fourth from right), DOT Ilocos regional director Joseph Francisco Ortega (right), Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III (third from left), and Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil (third from right) on June 21 in Lingayen town, Pangasinan. There are 30,478 beneficiaries in Pangasinan. (Photo by Hilda Austria)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Some 30,478 Pangasinense workers in the tourism sector affected by the pandemic have received PHP5,000 each from the national government through the Department of Tourism (DOT) in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). 
In a press conference here on Monday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said some PHP187.39 million was disbursed to the tourism workers in the province as of June 21. 
“When we say tourism workers, these are not limited to workers in hotels or resorts. These include all even tricycle and pedicab drivers, massage therapists, since tourism is everybody’s business,” she said. 
DOT Ilocos regional director Joseph Francisco Ortega said the financial assistance is part of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for the tourism sector under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, or Bayanihan 2. 
Randy Castro, a tricycle driver in Lingayen town, thanked the national government for the financial aid he received. 
Malaking tulong sa amin. Kasi po simula noong pandemic, kaunti na po kita ko sa pagtatricycle kaya malaking tulong po ito sa mga gastusin namin sa bahay (This is a big help for us. Since the pandemic started, my earning from driving a tricycle became meager so this is a big help in the expenses of the family),” he said in an interview.
Meanwhile, Puyat urged distressed tourism businesses to avail of the zero-interest, collateral-free, and with a two-year grace period loan offered under the Bayanihan 2. 
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism industry accredited by the DOT or registered by the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises may apply for the loan with the amount not exceeding 15 percent of their annual sales, or 20 percent of asset size.
The figures will be based on the businesses' financial statements for 2018 or 2019 filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The maximum loanable amount for applicants with BIR-filed financial statements is PHP5 million for medium enterprises, PHP3 million for small enterprises, and PHP300,000 for micro-enterprises. (PNA)