The province of Bohol has already lost over P10 billion in revenues from commercial activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the period of seven months, from March 16 up to October 15, 2020, the shutdown of several business establishments also resulted in the loss of income for around 211,000 individuals, most of whom have lost their jobs or livelihood opportunities.
Provincial Administrator Kathyrin Pioquinto said the provincial government is exploring helpful interventions especially in the tourism sector which is one of Bohol’s primary revenue generators.
While some tourism-related establishments have re-opened in the beginning of October, most business owners also remain cautious especially with the incidence of COVID-19 community transmission.
In the recently concluded Panglao Island Sustainable Tourism Board (PISTB) meeting, Gov. Arthur Yap acknowledged the risks of sudden reopening of business establishments, especially in the tourism sector, saying present circumstances demands calculated and careful moves.
Data from the regional office of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) revealed that the rate of unemployment attributable to the pandemic comprises about 45% of the province’s overall workforce.
Workers in the tourism sector and its related industries are among the most affected since the government’s imposition of travel restrictions in mid-March.
The provincial government has allocated rice subsidy for tourism and affiliated industry workers affected by the pandemic.
According to Yap the losses of individuals who used to be employed or were self-earners but have now lost their jobs or denied livelihood opportunities could amount to at least P25,000 per individual.
Bohol, which is predominantly a tourism service and agricultural economy, draws most of its revenues from remittances of overseas workers, tourists, agriculture and food establishments. (KB, RT)