Boracay Island (File photo)

MANILA – UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque said there is a need to revive the country's tourism industry which was badly hit by the pandemic by providing credit facilities to the private sector and creating more jobs for the people.

“Kung ako’y magiging senador, isang sektor na talagang kinakailangan nating tulungan, ‘yung sektor ng turismo (If I will become a senator, one sector that I will really help is the tourism sector," Roque said.

"Kinakailangan talaga na mangalap tayo ng pondo para sa mga (We have to find funds for) resort owners,” he also said during a recent interview with Go Nego Show.

Roque attended the Philippine Councilors League in Boracay last week and shared the grief of a hotel owner who incurred PHP900 million financial losses due to the pandemic.

“Ang pakiusap niya sana naman mayroon siyang mapupuntahan na credit facility na mababa ang interes dahil kung siya naman po ay magsasara napakadaming ding mawawalan ng trabaho (His appeal is to have a low-interest credit facility that he can go to because if he closes his business, many will lose jobs),” Roque said.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported that international tourism receipts in the first quarter of 2020 declined to PHP85 billion, 36 percent lower than the revenues in the same period in 2019.

He noted that tourist destinations in the Philippines were among the world's best islands and could provide earnings.

According to Travel+Leisure magazine, Palawan ranked 19th on the magazine's Top 25 Islands in the World and fifth in the Asian category.

“Napakadami pong nakasandal sa turismo para sa hanapbuhay. Ang maganda po sa turismo, it is the goose that lays the golden egg. Alam naman po natin na kada taon binoboto po ang mga isla ng ating bayan, ng ating bansa, bilang pinakamagandang isla sa ating daigdig (So many people rely on tourism for their livelihood. The good thing about tourism, it is the goose that lays the golden egg. We know that every year, our islands are voted as the most beautiful islands in the world),” he noted. (PR)