House OKs P3.573-billion DOT budget for 2023

House OKs P3.573-billion DOT budget for 2023

The House of Representatives on Monday approved the proposed P3.573 billion budget of the Department of Tourism for the fiscal year 2023.

The DOT and its attached agencies and corporations have a total recommended budget of P3.573 billion which is 27.87% higher than the 2022 appropriations of only P2.794 billion.

The members of the lower chamber gave DOT a nod after proceedings that lasted for only less than two hours.

Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy (6th District, Isabela) supported the DOT’s budget proposal bid citing the tourism industry could boost the country’s economic growth. He cited the 12.8% contribution of the industry to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2019, pre-COVID-19 pandemic when it recorded an all-time high of 8.3 million foreign arrivals.

“As we continue to open our borders for tourism, it is highly necessary to protect the beauty and bounty of our tourist destinations, provide an impressive overall tourism experience and ensure the health and safety of our tourists, tourism workers and the entire Filipino people.

We also hope to develop and promote other key tourist destinations and market the country globally through various branding, promotional and marketing strategies,” Dy said in his opening remarks.

“The country’s tourism portfolio is at par with our ASEAN competitors; however, to further promote our tourist destinations, there is a need to further improve gateway access and other infrastructure for ease and convenience of travel,” he added.

“The DOT envisions the tourism industry as a pillar for economic recovery. The industry is an important tool for the country’s development. The attainment of the DOT’s goals is, therefore, undoubtedly our nation’s victory,” Dy continued.

During the briefing with the House Committee on Appropriations on the proposed 2023 budget of the agency last August 31, Frasco presented P3.573 billion budget covering DOT’s attached agencies namely, Office of the Secretary, Intramuros Administration, National Parks Development Committee, and the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving—which is currently transitioning as an attached agency of the DOT.

The DOT’s recommended budget is .068% share of the government’s proposed 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP) vis-a-vis the tourism industry’s P2.5 trillion contribution to the country’s GDP.

Frasco then said DOT originally requested P12 billion from the Department of Budget and Management to facilitate the successful implementation of the various programs planned by the agency to spur tourism revival.

Increase DOT budget

Meanwhile, during the interpellation, Deputy Speaker Duke Frasco, husband of the DOT chief,  cited tourism’s role in the economic recovery. He added that it was cited by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s as one of his administration’s priority agendas.

The solon called to increase DOT’s budget which was also echoed by Minority Leader Rep. Marcelino Libanan (4Ps Partylist.)

“DOT needs to be equipped with the means and the tools to aid in our economic recovery to have enough fiscal space within its department to be competitive in the tourism market against our neighbors in the ASEAN and globally, to be nimble and resilient against future pandemics, epidemics, and calamities such as earthquakes and super typhoons that might befall our nation, and to be inclusive across all tourism markets and sectors not only focused on international tourist arrivals but in the massive potential of domestic tourism,” Deputy Speaker Frasco said.

Rep. Arlene Brosas also committed to supporting the increase in DOT’s budget. She sought programs that ensure the safety of women.

The DOT, through its sponsor Dy, committed to upholding the rights and protection of women through its flagship program, TourISM WoRCS Program or the Tourism Integrates, Support and Minds Women’s Respect and Child Safety.

Aside from Brosas Assistant Minority Leader Gabriel Bordado (3rd District, Camarines Sur), Rep. Arlene Castro (ACT Teacher Partylist) and Rep. Mujiv Hataman (Basilan) sought clarifications on various tourism concerns pertaining to the revenue of the Duty Free Philippines Corp., an attached agency of the DOT, the filling of DOT’s plantilla position vacancies as well as how Tourism Road Infrastructure Projects (TRIPS) is being handled by the DOT respectively.

DOT Secretary Frasco is thankful that all the interpellators supported the increase in the budget appropriation of the DOT.

“The final approval of the Department’s budget will facilitate a more vibrant and active tourism development thrust not only for the Department but for the whole tourism industry,” the tourism chief said.

She thanked House members for swiftly approving the recommended budget.

“On behalf of the Department of Tourism, I express my profound gratitude to the esteemed members of the House of Representatives for their invaluable support as tacitly manifested in today’s plenary deliberations which echoed resounding support from the majority to the minority for an increased tourism budget,” Frasco said.

“We especially appreciate the zeal and assiduity to which our tourism champion, Honorable Faustino ‘Inno’ Dy, V from the 6th District of Isabela defended the Department’s budget for the fiscal year 2023,” she added.

Last August, other lawmakers Rep. Walter Palma (1st District, Zamboanga Sibugay) and  Rep. Edcel Lagman (1st District, Albay) also called for the increase in the DOT’s budget citing  the tourism industry is revenue and job-generating agency.






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