Legarda fights for P30-B restaurant industry ‘bailout fund’ – Manila Bulletin

Vice President and Antiques Representative Loren Legarda has asked for a 30 billion peso “bridge fund” to be granted for a recovery plan aimed at reviving the country’s restaurant industry which has been badly affected by the crisis. economics of COVID-19.

Vice President Loren Legarda

Legarda has pledged to pursue the measure if it succeeds in securing a Senate seat since legislative time constraints prevent its passage in the current Congress.

Congress has just ten session days left when it resumes regular sessions on Monday, January 17. The adjournment to make way for the campaign period will begin on February 4.

Legarda filed the Restoration Industry Recovery Act under Bill No. 7610 which will also seek to provide tax incentives and rent extension payments to distressed restaurants, in addition to the bridging fund. of 30 billion pesos. The legislative proposal will allow the industry to maintain operations and stay afloat until the pandemic is over.

“The restaurant industry is in crisis. Changes in regulations and restrictions due to the epidemic have severely affected the global and national economies. One of the hardest hit sectors is the restaurant industry. This pandemic has changed the landscape of the industry, affecting its business operations, customer retail and logistics services,” Legarda said.

Foodservice sales in the country fell 44% in 2020 amid a tough business environment characterized by lockdowns and quarantine restrictions, the lawmaker added.

She said it’s been a challenge for restaurant owners and operators to keep their businesses going, sacrificing revenue from sales, balancing their remaining cash flow to cover rental, taxes and other costs while still struggling. ensuring that they can still provide a daily wage to their employees.

In this context, the restaurant industry needs help to save its business and the workers who depend on it.

“We need to provide economic measures to the restaurant industry to ensure they are able to provide jobs, prevent them from closing through the creation of payment extensions and bridge financing, help them in the transition to a better normalcy that would reduce food waste, support biodiverse agriculture and also ensure that employees are protected while they continue their operations,” said Legarda.

According to industry data, there are 84,503 operating food outlets in the country, most if not all of which are affected by the difficult business environment, aggravated by the various quarantine restrictions and the alert levels since March 2020.

At present, parts of the country have been placed under Alert Level 3, where businesses are only allowed to operate at 30% indoor capacity and 50% outdoor capacity amid the spike in cases. of COVID-19.


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