A LAWMAKER on Monday said the Department of Tourism’s (DoT) 2023 budget should include funds for capital outlays.
“I would like to manifest my support to increase the budget of the (DoT) and to include appropriations for capital expenditures,” Cebu Rep. Vincent Franco D. Frasco said during plenary.
Mr. Frasco, husband of Tourism Secretary Ma. Esperanza Christina G. Frasco, said the tourism department needs to be equipped with the means to aid in the country’s economic recovery.
Under the 2023 National Expenditure Program, the DoT will receive no funds for capital outlays.
“The country’s tourism portfolio is at par with our ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) competitors; however, to further promote our tourist destinations, there is a need to further improve gateway access and other infrastructure for ease and convenience of travel,” said Isabela Rep. Faustino V. A. Dy, sponsor of the DoT’s budget proposal.
The department has a proposed budget of P3.573 billion next year, 30.3% higher than this year’s budget.
Under the plan, P2.828 billion will go to maintenance and other operating expenses, P687.083 million to personnel services and P3.58 million to financial expenses.
Representatives Arlene D. Brosas of Gabriela, Gabriel H. Bordado, Jr. of Camariñes Sur, France L. Castro of ACT-Teachers, and Mujiv S. Hataman of Basilan expressed support for the proposed increase.
“We are delighted that all of the interpellators supported the increase in the budget appropriation of the department, having seen the importance of DoT as a major component in the country’s move towards economic recovery that has been devastated by the COVID pandemic,” Ms. Frasco said in a separate statement. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo