DBM: Gov’t allocates P17.7-B to support PH tourism infra dev’t

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the government has allocated a total of PHP17.7 billion in this year’s national budget to fund the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP).

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman the amount is P602 million higher than the P17.087 billion from last year’s budget. She stressed the importance of providing fund support to vital infrastructure projects under the “Build, Better, More program,” which serve as the backbone of the economy.

“President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has been very consistent with his pronouncements that infrastructure development is a priority under this administration. And so we, at DBM, shall do all we can to support the realization of this objective. And so we ensured that various infrastructure projects nationwide are allocated with necessary funds to support the Build, Better, More program,” she said.

Pangandaman pointed out that “mobility and connectivity” are vital components in tourism development. “The Philippines has so many majestic places. How will we attract tourists if there is no transport infrastructure in place to get them to these destinations with ease?” she asked.

TRIP is a convergence initiative of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Tourism (DOT). The The allocation is in line with DOT’s National Tourism Development Plan, which envisions a “globally competitive, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tourism industry that promotes inclusive growth through employment generation and equitable distribution of income.”

Funded are the construction, reconstruction, upgrade and improvement of roads and bridges linking declared tourist destinations. Under the 2023 national budget, the P17.689 billion budget will be distributed to tourism infrastructure projects in Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Davao, Soccsksargen and Caraga regions.

“To boost our tourism industry, we will first and foremost make basic developments such as road improvements for easier access to tourism spots. We will also upgrade our airports and create more international airports to help decongest the bottleneck at the Manila International Airport,” Marcos earlier said.

Marcos has repeatedly stressed tourism’s importance as an economic development tool and a job-generating industry that benefits the grassroots level. In 2019, the industry accounted for 5.7 million jobs, representing 13.6% of the country’s employment during the period.