NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Thousands of workers in the tourism industry of Bohol broke their silence after five months of being jobless without any assistance from the government.
The plea for assistance echoed during a radio survey conducted by dyRD’s “InyongAlagad” program last Tuesday where several affected workers aired their grievances on the absence of government assistance.
JojoBaritua, director of the Bohol Confederation of Tourist Transport Service Providers and president of the Bohol Airport Drivers & Operators Transport Service Cooperative expressed disgust on why the government has forgotten the industry that is providing much to the economy especially in Bohol which is a top tourist destination.
He categorically said there was” no assistance coming from the government, whether from the provincial government, Department of Tourism or Department of Labor.”
Earlier during the first weeks of the lockdown, Gov. Art Yap mentioned that each of those in the tourism sector will receive fund assistance from the Capitol. However, industry players said there was none given until these days in which they have been jobless for the past 150 days or three months.
Most of those who participated in the survey were van drivers, room boys, masseurs, entertainers, utility workers as well as workers of food suppliers who went jobless after the tourism establishments closed due to the absence of tourists in the province.
An officer of a security agency called the radio survey saying that hundreds of security guards are likewise jobless after resorts, hotels and other tourists’ haven closed down since March this year.
“All of them did not get any assistance from the government,” he said.
Another concern of the private stakeholders expressed during the radio survey was their monthly amortization in the banks on loaned cars, vans including those who invested to open pension houses and restaurants.
With the absence of tourist arrivals, they can never meet their monthly obligation to the banks.
Earlier, Gov. Yap repeatedly said he wrote the Central Bank of the Philippines to consider a longer moratorium for loans in the tourism industry. But, nothing has been heard over the past five months on the said request.
The Chronicle requested a copy of the said letter. However, nothing reached the Chronicle desk until yesterday.