‘I’m using my own money for trips to tourist spots’ --- Roque

Given the limited budget of his office, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque is using his personal money to partly bankroll his trips to the tourist destinations.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

In his visit to Palawan Thursday, Roque explained that he decided to promote the reopening of the country's tourist destinations since the pandemic hit early this year.

Roque previously visited tourist places like Baguio City, Boracay Island, Bohol and held his press briefing with local officials there.

“It’s mostly my personal funds. No kidding,” Roque said when asked about the funding source for his tourism-related trips. “Because I only have P800,000 budget since my predecessor obtained his budget, was using his budget from his other office. It’s mostly my personal funds,” he added.

Roque made the comment after claiming that tourism promotion has become part of the "advocacy" of his office. The revival of the tourism industry is among the government's efforts to revitalize the economy and employment amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the purpose of his Palawan visit, Roque said: "Well alam ninyo it's become part of the advocacy of my office to help those that have opened tourism dahil importante nga na magkaroon muli ng hanapbuhay ang ating kababayan (because it's important that our countrymen will have jobs again)," he said.

Roque recently dispelled speculations about his potential Senate run in the 2022 elections. He said he was looking forward to retirement from government service two years from now.