DOT: 3,000 tourism workers to receive COVID-19 jab

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
DOT: 3,000 tourism workers to receive COVID-19 jab
Bobby Casimero, a Boracay-based tour guide, gets his first COVID-19 vaccine dose during the Ceremonial Vaccination of Boracay Tourism Frontliners activity held on Wednesday (July 7) at the Paradise Garden Resort Hotel and Convention Center.
DOT / released

MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday announced that 3,000 tourism workers in Boracay island will receive COVID-19 jab.

A total of 2,178 of these workers are employed in accommodation establishments, while 308 works in restaurants and 140 works in tourist transport.

The remaining 374 are tourism frontline personnel which includes tour guides, boatmen, e-trike drivers, airport and seaport frontliners, and aqua or water sports providers. 

The Department of Tourism said the workers were identified by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Malay, in coordination with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Boracay, and Boracay Foundation Incorporated.

They plan on inoculating 500 tourism workers a day to reach the target.

Puyat and National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) Deputy Chief Implementer and testing czar Vince Dizon kicked off the ceremonial vaccination of these workers on the island on Wednesday.

“I am extremely grateful to our NTF Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., our Testing Czar and Deputy Chief Implementer, Secretary Vince Dizon, and the rest of the NTF team, for making this possible. As promised by Sec. Vince, continuous supply of the vaccine will come, until we will be able to finally vaccinate the whole Boracay, and our dream of the travel bubble will finally be realized,” Puyat said in her speech during the opening ceremonies. 

Puyat said the inoculation of tourism workers was made possible by the combined efforts of her agency, the NTF, the provincial government of Aklan, the local government of Malay, PCCI-Boracay, Boracay Foundation, Inc. and the Compliance Association of Boracay.

She also thanked the Filinvest Hospitality through Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay for donating a total of 5,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to support the initiative.

 “We hope that others will continue this spirit of Bayanihan so more people in Boracay can get vaccinated faster,” the tourism chief said.

The local authorities are planning to vaccinate all 40,000 residents and workers in the entire town of Malay.

Early this year, the DOT has been pushing for the inclusion of tourism industry workers at recently-opened destinations in the priority group for the country’s vaccination program against COVID-19.

Puyat said the tourism sector’s human capital is essential to the country's socio-economic recovery. She cited that their vaccination is important as they operate facilities and serve guests directly.

Last May, the tourism agency said that frontline tourism workers in accommodation establishments utilized as isolation facilities or quarantine hotels are now included on the A1 priority group of the national vaccination program.

"Understandably, among the top priorities for tourists traveling during this period are their health and safety. One of the ways we can ensure this is by getting our frontliners vaccinated as soon as possible, to give an extra layer of protection between them and our tourists," Puyat said on Wednesday.

Aside from the inoculation of tourism workers, the tourism chief said the Tourism Promotions Board funded P10 million for the conduct of mass testing of tourism workers and frontliners on the island.




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