BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The business sector in Bacolod City is urging the local government to set up an economic recovery center to boost efforts in reviving the economy.
Frank Carbon, Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer, said the city’s fight against the coronavirus is gaining ground, and “it’s about time we put more efforts on our economic recovery initiatives.”
To drive more economic activities, the business group is pushing for the development of a business continuity plan and the setting up of a small business help desk, he said.
He said that local governments should also start the inter-island and inter-province trading. He added that inter-province trading contributes 20 to 30 percent to the local economy.
Moreover, the opening of tourist destinations will also open up the economy, he said, adding that tourist officers and personnel should be sent to Boracay and Panglao islands to learn firsthand from their experiences, and prepare the local tourist destinations for their eventual reopening, he said.
The government said the October 1 reopening of Boracay will support tourism industry workers and businesses amid the prevailing pandemic.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the resumption of tourism businesses signals the “gathering momentum for domestic tourism all over the country”.
Currently, all travelers including those below 21 and above 60 years old are allowed to enter the island except for those with underlying medical conditions.
Travelers must also undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests that must be taken at least 48 hours before departure.
Meanwhile, Carbon said that local government units should avail of financial assistance from government banks and start programs that will generate jobs and livelihood.
“These programs can bring back the confidence of the community to the local economy,” he said, adding it is imperative to start the recovery efforts the soonest time possible.*