MANILA -- The vaccination status of tourism workers--both under the A1 and A4 priority health group--in the National Capital Region (NCR) as of 20 August 2021, has reached 95 percent, a development foreseen to increase recovery prospects for the local tourism scene.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat reported that a total of 27,708 tourism frontliners out of 29,066 have been inoculated against COVID-19 as of 20 August 2021.
The bulk or 19,350 of these workers came from the A1 priority group while those from the A4 sector comprised the remaining 8,358 workers. Both groups are employed in quarantine/isolation facilities, multiple use hotels, and staycation hotels that are accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT).
"The DOT hails this important milestone in vaccinating our tourism stakeholders. The inoculation of our tourism frontliners is a big step towards the recovery of the industry.", Puyat said.
"We shall continue our close collaboration with the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, local government units (LGUs), and relevant public and private agencies in securing vaccine doses to expedite the inoculation of more tourism workers, especially those in destinations that rely heavily on tourism," she added.
Puyat expressed her gratitude to the Department of Health (DOH), the NTF through Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, and all LGU leaders and chief health officers in Metro Manila for their full-pledged support to the DOT's vaccination drive for tourism workers.
The tourism chief likewise noted the valuable contribution of industry associations such as the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) in ensuring the successful turnout of the initiative.
"This near-100% inoculation took a whole-of-government approach and could not have been accomplished without our national and local government leaders, as well as our partners from the private sector who supported the program in the spirit of Bayanihan,” Puyat said.
Meanwhile, 2,778 out of the 4,565 workers of DOT-Accredited restaurants in 13 cities in the NCR, or about 61 percent, have received their Covid-19 vaccines.
The DOT said that there are remaining challenges in inoculating 100 percent of tourism frontliners, including employees' refusal to be vaccinated and vaccine brand preference.
Other reasons include the work-from-home setup of some tourism workers, pregnancy, and comorbidities (e.g. allergies to medicine, hypertension). (DOT)