That last bit may sound trivial in the grand scheme of the outbreak, but for countries and communities that rely on tourism for income, COVID-19’s effects on the international travel scene are anything but.
To offset the outbreak’s impact on Philippine tourism, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano believes the nation should turn to infrastructure. The official has even ordered the government’s economic and infrastructure team to fast-track projects for this purpose.
“Yung appeal ko sa economic team at sa infrastructure team, habang yung uncertainty ng COVID-19 nandiyan, at habang maaapektuhan ang international tourism, agahan niyo ang pag-release at pagpapagawa ng infra projects,” he told the media on February 24, 2020.
How exactly will this negate the effects of the Coronavirus? For starters, Cayetano believes an infra push will help create jobs for individuals whose livelihoods rely on tourism.
“Number one, so yung ibang tourism-related jobs, pwedeng tumulong sa construction. Number two, para tamaan niyo yung March, April, May na tag-init na mas maraming magagawa. Number three, pagka walang problema, walang health issues, walang weather issues, traffic everywhere. Pagka nag-construct ka, lalong traffic,” he said.
“The silver lining now will come if we pump prime the economy by focusing on some infra projects, both small-, medium-, and large-scale,” he added.
Cayetano also expressed hope that the outbreak would die down come peak tourist season: “God willing, after the second half of this year, wala nang COVID-19 or under control na, so dagsa na naman ang tourists. So, in the meantime, itong first two quarters, sana Build, Build, Build tayo.”
Do you like where this official is going with this? Or is there a better way to help local tourism cope with the effects of the coronavirus?