Employment programs put Ilocos Norte's tourism recovery in sight


Nov. 09, 2021 ...

As Ilocos Norte's tourism recovery gains momentum after the province recently experienced its "worst" surge in COVID-19 cases, the Provincial Government, through the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO), has launched several socio-economic recovery programs to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

In its second installment, the Tourism Livelihood Continuity Program (TLCP) has begun subsidizing the salary fund of primary tourism businesses which, previously, laid-off workers. At least 1,250 tourism industry workers were able to regain their jobs under a re-employment agreement.

The Phase 1 of TLCP was launched in March 2020 and was regarded as a "pioneering and innovative" livelihood intervention program that cushioned the economic impact of COVID-19.

According to Mr. Xavier R. Ruiz, Officer-in-Charge of INTO, under the TLCP Phase 2, the Provincial Government "will pay the wages of employees who were unable to work due to the pandemic" and "pay a portion of the salary for staff who were retained by employers to stop possible layoffs."

Meanwhile, another employment program under the helm of INTO is the December Tourism Operations and Employment Program. This will prioritize displaced workers from the tourism, events, and creative sectors to augment the manpower at various tourist attractions across the province and assist with the expected influx of visitors during the holiday season.

A total of 200 tourism ambassadors, utility personnel and senior citizen guides will be hired under this employment program.

In 2018, the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines and Department of Tourism Awards recognized INTO's Summer Tourism Program (STP) as a pioneer in "immersing both the young and elderly as tour guides in different museums and churches in the province." The TLCP and the December Tourism Operations and Employment Program were patterned from the STP, but this time, securing jobs for pandemic-displaced tourism industry workers.

Ilocos Norte re-opened to tourists from Alerts Level 1 to 4, and MGCQ and GCQ areas, on September 24, 2021.