Philippines welcomes back tourists

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Philippine President Duterte stressed the need to align the government’s economic recovery programs and measures to bring the economy back to the growth path…reports Asian Lite News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered easing entry of foreign tourists into the country to boost international tourism, increase foreign investments, and restoring jobs in the tourism sector, according to an executive order released on Wednesday.

In the order Duterte signed on Monday, he asked the government to relax further the requirements on international travel, including quarantine exemptions to vaccinated foreigners entering the country. He also ordered reducing domestic travel restrictions to boost local tourism.

Duterte stressed the need to align the government’s economic recovery programs and measures to bring the economy back to the growth path, Xinhua news agency reported.

“There is an urgent need to adopt policies on economic recovery to sustain current economic gains, minimise the pandemic’s long-term adverse effects, and restore the country’s development trajectory,” the order read.

The measures also include strengthening the healthcare capacity across the country, accelerating and expanding the vaccination programme, further reopening the economy and expanding public transport capacity, resuming face-to-face learning, and accelerating digital transformation.

The Covid pandemic, which broke out in 2020, has drastically affected the Philippine economy, resulting in jobs, productivity, and income loss. Many businesses were forced to close temporarily or permanently cease operations.

The pandemic impeded the country’s decade-long uninterrupted growth, contracting its gross domestic products by 9.6 per cent in 2020, the first recession since the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

The economy grew by 5.6 per cent in 2021, performing much better than the government’s revised target, considered by the government as “on track to rapid recovery.”

The Philippines now has over 3.67 million confirmed Covid cases, including 58,281 deaths. More than 65.2 million people, or 72.49 per cent of the targeted population, have been fully vaccinated since the vaccine rollout in March last year.

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