Mr Charin and his delegation arrived in Phuket this morning to hear directly from people in Phuket the key problems they are facing during the current economic crisis.
Present at a meeting at the Phuket Provincial Hall where Mr Charon and his associates received the requests were Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, Vice Governor Phichet Panaphong, other relevant officers and local business owners.
V/Gov Phichet explained that Phuket is badly affected by the current crisis.
On behalf of the Phuket government, V/Gov Phichet delivered three requests already presented to the Senate Standing Committee on Tourism:
- extend the financial support by the Social Security Office for a further three months
- allow workers from other provinces to transfer their house registration to Phuket so the Phuket government can receive more budget funds to provide better care for them
- ask the Ministry of Labour to provide help to at least 1,000 unemployed in Phuket.
“We want the National Reform Committee to be a part of pushing forward our requests,” V/Gov Phichet said.
Further requests were presented by the private sector, including representatives from the Phuket Tourism Industry Council, Human Resources Club of Patong, the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, among others. The requests presented were as follows:
- issue a moratorium on all outstanding debts for business owners and employees
- relax soft loan conditions so that business owners can actually access the loans
- reduce utility expenses such as water and electricity
- suspend student loan debts for new graduates
- have officers from the Phuket office of the Department of Transport and the Department of Commerce strictly regulate prices of products and services in order to create a good image of Phuket
Other requests presented at the meeting included one on behalf of Phuket residents for the government to encourage more Thais to travel to the island, and to support local business owners via social security funds and soft loans.
“The central government is paying much attention to Phuket and other places badly affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis, including Koh Samui,” Mr Charin said.
“All the information received today will be presented to the Cabinet next Tuesday [Sept 15],” Mr Charin added.
After the meeting, Mr Charin and his delegation went to meet local hotel operators as well as workers at spa and massage centres in Patong.