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In 2023, P6.4 billion would be used to improve the country’s image abroad.

The Philippines’ tourist industry will be improved with about PHP6.39 billion of the PHP5.268 trillion national budget for 2023, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The Marcos government is determined to market the Philippines as a tourism destination and draw in more foreign investment, according to a statement from the DBM.

In order to support the Department of Tourism (DOT) in its campaigns to promote the Philippines as a tourist destination and to increase the interest of foreign investors in the Philippine experience, a total of PHP6.39 billion has been allocated for the tourism sector under the FY (fiscal year) 2023 National Budget, according to the Budget department.

The DBM released the statement in support of the DOT’s efforts to increase Filipino tourism, joining the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

During President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s recent five-day working visit to Japan, DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman stated that the administration’s priority spending, especially the “Build Better More” infrastructure initiative, will enhance the entire tourism experience in the Philippines.

According to the DBM, Pangandaman acknowledged the “huge contribution” made by Japanese tourists and investors to the country’s economic development.

The budget chief was cited as adding, “The Japanese [people] adore leisure and pleasure thus we are tempting them to visit the Philippines more.”

The “Build Better More” program will receive about PHP1.3 trillion, or 5.5 percent of the country’s GDP, under the 2023 national budget (GDP).

The majority of the PHP1.3 trillion budget would be allocated to physical infrastructure, including the building and upkeep of railways and road networks (PHP 478.7 billion) (PHP40.1 billion).

Priority will also be given to social infrastructure, with about PHP29.2 billion going toward school construction and PHP14.4 billion going toward hospitals and health facilities.

To improve the entire tourist experience, the DOTr, and the DOT signed a memorandum of understanding to build better airports and seaports.

A further PHP17.69 billion was allotted by the DPWH through its Tourism Road Infrastructure Program for the development and upkeep of roads and infrastructure facilities in tourist areas.

The DOT is also interested in creating tourist rest spaces, setting up call centers for tourist convenience, modernizing tourism, and implementing financial and non-financial incentives for visitors.

According to data from the DOT, the tourism industry has already recovered more than 62 percent of its pre-pandemic flights and produced close to USD 4 billion (PHP220 billion), helping to boost the nation’s GDP.

The DOT wants to increase tourism beyond present levels.

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