Senator Nancy Binay on Friday commended the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for moving to include workers in hotels operating as quarantine or isolation facilities in the A1 priority group saying this would boost the government’s efforts in the COVID-19 vaccination program.
The IATF’s decision, she said, will ensure that those manning isolation facilities and quarantine hotels—who have been the government’s partners against the coronavirus since day 1—would be able to focus on their task and reassured that their jobs will not endanger their own families.
“The IATF’s decision to include those working in hotels and other quarantine facilities in the A1 priority group is right. Their lives are also at risk daily because of constant exposure,” Binay said.
Other tourism workers are included in the A4 priority group, whose vaccination is eyed in June.
Binay also expressed hope that the vaccination of those in the A4 priority group would start “as scheduled.”
“At this point, we cannot afford any more delays, as we are woefully off-target. Not only does the tourism industry at stake here, but other industries in the country as well,” she pointed out.
The senator also urged the tourism industry to use its experience in marketing and communications to use its influence to convince fellow Filipinos to get vaccinated.
She said tourism leaders should pitch in to address the prevailing vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) had said that only some 2,507 employees of quarantine hotels nationwide have already had been vaccinated.
A Pulse Asia survey, Binay noted, had earlier released a study showing that six out of 10 Filipinos do not want to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Maybe we can start by making sure majority, if not all, of our tourism workers, will be vaccinated. Then let’s work from there,” she said.