Precisely my point, why grant value added tax refund to foreign tourists and overseas Filipinos when the sector that fuels the growth of the travel and tourism industry most is domestic tourism, which deserve to get the refund more than those short-staying alien visitors.
The ways and means committee of the House is making a mistake about granting foreign tourists/visitors and overseas-based Filipinos refund of their 12 percent value added tax accrued from their purchases of goods in the country.
Admittedly such VAT refunds are being done in many countries, principally our neighbors in Asia, and they supposedly earn more revenues in giving out such refunds because for every $1 in refund means $1.50 in revenues reaching our country.
But like I argued, what exactly would be the ‘exportable’ products that the tourists can purchase here which they could not buy cheaper elsewhere because their industries are competitive and more productive. Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda said the refunds would apply to ‘exportable’ goods here that they buy and for which we don’t have to compete with world exporters for these same products.
Besides in terms of tourism infrastructure and logistics we are truly lagging behind so many of our neighbors because of inconsistent government policies and corruption.
The Department of Tourism said domestic travel would match its level in 2019 at 122 million this year and would continue meeting targets set under the National Tourism Development Plan for 2023-2028 would be met with the help of government agencies and the private sector during the 25-member Tourism Coordinating Council last February 20.
The DoT said it sees the full recovery of the domestic travelers business this year, and the international arrivals in 2024, according to Business Mirror.
DoT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, during her first meeting with the TCC presented a draft of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2023-2028, a blueprint of strategies and projects for the country to be able to reach annual targets for domestic and international tourist arrivals along with the foreign and local visitors receipts.
“Even as the pandemic set back our gains, the momentum for recovery and growth is already here. We see domestic tourism recovering to 2019 levels this year, and international tourism next year,” she said.
In 2019, domestic trips reached some 122 million, generating expenditures of P3.1 trillion. Foreign tourist arrivals that year hit an historic-high of 8.26 million with receipts reaching P482.15 billion.
As community quarantine levels eased, Filipinos started traveling around the country and helped prop up the tourism industry. The hotel sector recently reported that occupancy levels have hit 80 percent largely due to domestic tourists.
The TCC was created by Republic Act 9593 (Tourism Act of 2009) and is composed of 25 government agencies, with the DOT serving as its chair. It serves a coordinating body to discuss policies and efforts to push the development of the tourism sector.
During the meeting held at the Philippine International Convention Center, Frasco outlined the programs and projects currently being implemented to improve the traveler’s experience.
Among these are the construction of tourist pit stops (which DoT undertakes and launches on behalf of the TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority), a government owned and controlled corporation attached to DoT, the incorporation of the “Filipino brand” at the nation’s airports, and internet connectivity in 94 tourist destinations.
Projects in the pipeline include a one-stop-shop app for tourists to be able to book their visits to the Philippines, a call center to respond to tourist emergencies, and an agreement with the Department of National Defense and the Department of the Interior Labor and Government to ensure peace and security in tourist destinations.
“The possibilities for Philippine tourism are endless. With your continued support we will accomplish our goals for a tourism industry that is a major economic pillar for our country,” Frasco told her audience.
During the meeting, the agency asked TCC members for their comments and inputs to the NTDP 2023-2028, with the final version to be revealed in March. “This National Tourism Development Plan for 2023 to 2028 envisions the Philippines as a tourism powerhouse of Asia, that is anchored in the Filipino identity, on sustainability, resilience, and global competitiveness, and that benefits the Filipino people,” said Frasco.
Among those who attended the TCC meeting were Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Roberto Zozobrado, Transportation Undersecretary Roberto C. Lim, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Gina Jamoralin, National Commission for Culture and the Arts Executive Director Oscar G. Casaysay, Philippine National Police Deputy Chief for Operations PLT Gen. Benjamin Santos Jr., OIC-Executive Director of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines Carmina Arevalo, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Vice President for Marketing Ricardo B. Faraon, and officials of the DOT and its attached agencies.
Tags: #DoT, #refundingVATofforeignvisitors, #tourism, #domestictravels