CLARK FREEPORT – Tarlac Gov. Susan Yap and the six other governors of Central Luzon will visit South Korea for a trade mission, realizing the need to seek more income for their provincemates affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s no junket tour. We will go there to work,” stressed Yap during the media forum on Thursday organized by the Capampangan in Media Incorporated (CAMI) in cooperation with the Clark Development Corporation (CDC).
Yap said they will speak with Korean businessmen who will be asked to buy products made in Tarlac, Pampanga, Aurora, Zambales, Bataan, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan.
“We always import products from abroad. It’s about time we are the ones exporting products to other nations,” she said. The trip is set from November 7 to 11 this year.
Yap said she and her counterparts from Region III will also visit smart cities in South Korea to learn how they operate and apply these learnings to their respective province.
Yap said there is a need to seek other incomes as their constituents and the local government units (LGUs) were severely affected by the pandemic.
Yap cited the Tarlac LGU as an example. She said their budget in 2023 will be slashed by 15 percent less compared to their P3.4 billion budget this year.
“This is all due to the less in tax collections during the more than two years of pandemic,” said Yap, citing that the budget of the LGU is derived from collections three years ago or in 2020 when the pandemic started.