MANILA, Philippines – An official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday that some 3,000 jobs are available in the hotel and restaurant industry as he painted a bright picture for the country’s domestic tourism.
Ciriaco Lagunzad III, executive director of the DOLE National Wages and Productivity Board, said hotels and restaurants are not affected by the global economic crunch.
Lagunzad added that DOLE is “prepared to help those who’d like to get trained or to upgrade to be able to land these existing jobs.”
“The international demand is not as positive as expected. But the domestic front remains to be an employment generator,” he stressed during the launching of DOLE’s “Service Quality Program for Key Employment Generators.”
Humphrey O’Leary, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines, said the hotel and restaurant industry remains upbeat as proven by the continued establishment of hotels and restaurants all over the country.
“When it comes to this industry, the money is here in this country. And the good part of this situation is the money is being invested here in the country. It’s not going out…. And that is one of the strengths that helps us overcome the situation,” O’Leary said.
He added that analysts see the crisis in the tourism industry will be felt for only two years, that is why businessmen continue to invest in this sector.
“Investments are coming in and they still construct. You can see that if you go around Metro Manila… If it’s that bad, they won’t construct anymore. They’ll just hold on to their money. But the risk takers are willing to come in because they know this is not going to last forever. Within two years, things will start to turn around and they want to be in the position to benefit from the turnaround,” he said.
O’Leary pointed out that the country’s domestic tourism is also kept afloat by local tourists who now prefer to go around the country than travel abroad. – Sheila Crisostomo, Philippine Star