Legarda wants 30 billion pesos ‘bridging fund’ for shocked restaurant industry

Former Senator and Vice President Loren Legarda FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Loren Legarda has said the country’s restaurant industry is in dire straits due to the economic impact of the current COVID-19 crisis.

This is why the current vice-president Legarda has tabled Bill No. 7610 or the law on the revival of the restaurant industry aimed at reviving the restaurant industry via a “bridge fund” of 30 billion pesos.

Legarda said many restaurants have had to temporarily suspend operations due to the imposition of community quarantines aimed at curbing the wave of COVID-19.

“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 most affected sectors is catering. This pandemic has changed the landscape of the industry, affecting its business operations, retail to customers and logistics services, ”Legarda said in a statement.

Legarda’s proposal also aims to provide tax incentives and a rent extension to help struggling restaurateurs maintain their businesses.

“It has been a challenge for restaurant owners and operators to maintain their businesses, sacrificing sales revenue, balancing their remaining cash flow to cover rental, taxes and other costs while ensuring that they can still provide a daily salary for their employees, ”she said. .

“We have already experienced a 44% drop in foodservice sales in 2020, and many establishments are facing downsizing or going out of business. “

Legarda added that the interim financing and the extension of payments under the Restaurant Industry Revival Act would help the industry to make the transition to a better normal by reducing food waste, supporting an agriculture biodiverse and guaranteeing the protection of employees throughout their activities.

The country’s economy was hit hard by COVID-19 in 2020 and was rebounding slowly in 2021. However, a recent increase in COVID cases is expected to affect the country’s earnings.

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Cecil N. Messick