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The Association of Accredited Tourist Accommodation of Puerto Princesa Palawan (AATAPPP) has been intensifying its efforts to manage the big loss for their businesses, as the city has implemented suspension of flights to and from Puerto Princesa City for a month.
This is aligned with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte in declaring Metro Manila under community quarantine to curb transmission of COVID-19.
In an emergency meeting held today, March 13 at Hotel Centro, members and officers of AATAPPP lay down suggestions on how to survive this one month long of “no tourist/guest scenario”, given a fact that all of them rely on tourism.
Some members suggest that it is the best time for all hotels and accommodation in the City to start renovate or finish whatever construction they want to do, because it will not bother any guest in their premises. It was also discussed that it is the best time for the organization to conduct different trainings and seminars, to equip their employees with more skills and knowledge.
City Tourism Officer Aileen Amurao said that the City Government is here to help them in some ways possible. If ever there are many hotels that need to unload a number of their employees, the city can provide emergency funds for them.
“If we can consolidate this retrenched or displaced workers, we can provide or support thru emergency funds. Kaya if you can consolidate that so we can know how much budget we will need to provide,” Amurao said.
But Amurao clarify that is not a financial assistance thing. The other way she mentioned was the request of the City Tourism Council to the City Government regarding tax relief. It is now being reviewed and in any day from now, a decision will be announced soon and it might be approved since her records showed there is a decline in tourism arrival these past months.
Amurao also appealed to hoteliers to assists some groups who confirmed and paid initially for conventions and conferences that are affected by this Community Quarantine, to probably refund and understand the situation.
In the said meeting, Amurao announced the closure of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park starting March 15 to April 14, and also the approval of the Protective Area Management Board, to give in for the request for 50% off in the entrance fee to the park. This will be implemented once the park resumed operation. Discounted rate will be valid until December 31, 2020.
One member also shared his experience when Boracay was closed down for six months, to take it positively, to instruct employees to save and explore other option for livelihood like farming or agriculture, and check whatever loan they can qualify to apply in order to survive this crisis.
As agreed in the meeting, AATAPP immediately formed four committees to facilitate the month-long non operation. These ommittees are the Food and Supply, Marketing, Communication and Employee Welfare. The group will be proactive in this crucial time to work together as one community.
The meeting was presided by AATAPP President Bryan John Dizon.