Tourism industry workers under gov’t cash-for-work program at 180,000, and counting

Published February 4, 2021, 5:21 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

Over 180,000 tourism industry workers have been accepted under the government’s cash-for-work program through the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).


In his letter to the DoT, DoLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III reported that a total of 183,449 workers from 9,728 tourism establishments, organizations, and associations nationwide have been approved as beneficiaries under the program as of Feb. 2.

The salaries for 158,166 displaced workers amounting to more than P790 million have also been remitted to payment centers, Bello added.

Based on the first joint memorandum circular (JMC) approved by the two agencies in November 2020, qualified displaced tourism workers will be eligible to apply for the cash-for-work program or avail of one-time financial assistance equivalent to P5,000. 

The amount will be sourced from the P3-billion allocation for tourism workers under Section 4 of Republic Act (RA) 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One or the Bayanihan 2.

Targeted beneficiaries are encouraged to approach the designated focal persons of the DoT regional offices in their respective areas to apply for the cash assistance or the program, the agencies added.

Meanwhile, DoT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Bello signed on Wednesday DoT-DoLE JMC 2021-001, which expands the coverage for the provision of financial assistance and cash-for-work program for tourism industry workers who lost their jobs due to the ongoing health crisis.

Under the amended guidelines, persons deemed qualified for the aid and program will now include local government-licensed tourism support service (TSS) enterprises, providers, and associations of providers such as the following:

• displaced tourism workers in DoT-accredited primary tourism enterprises

• displaced tourism workers in DoT-accredited secondary tourism enterprises

• displaced tourism workers in LGU-licensed (non-DoT-accredited) primary and secondary Tourism Enterprises

• displaced TSS providers

• displaced workers of TSS enterprises

• displaced members of TSS associations

• members of registered community-based tourism organizations (CBTOs)