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House leaders confident PH tourism can recover from COVID-19 scare

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In a joint meeting of the committees one economic affairs and tourism on Wednesday, AAMBIS OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin expressed confidence that the Philippine tourism industry will soon recover from the coronavirus or COVID-19, formerly known as 2019 novel coronavirus, scare.

The joint House panel met with representatives from various agencies led by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Tourism (DOT) to assess the effect of the COVID-19 on tourism and the whole economy and discuss plans to cushion its impact.

Bohol Rep. Edgar Chatto, a vice chair of the committee on tourism, also manifested confidence in the tourism industry, which contributes 10 percent to the global work force and global production.

“We have been very resilient in the tourism sector even if we are threatened by disasters or threats like this. The tendency of the industry is really to rebound. It grows back. After this crisis, we will be able to bounce back,” said Chatto.

He agreed with Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones, who chairs the tourism panel, when she said that right information and correct messaging are important in any crisis situation.

Aragones recognized the government’s efforts to prepare the country against the prejudicial effects of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of the people.

“But while we hope this outbreak will be contained and controlled at the soonest time, we should also be adequately preparing for any eventuality. We, in the House, hope to work hand-in-hand with the Executive and other sectors to find ways to cushion the effects of this outbreak,” she said.