DOT: 95% of tourism workers in NCR vaccinated vs COVID-19

Published August 23, 2021, 12:56 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

Ninety-five percent of tourism industry workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) have received their vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Workers belonging to the A4 priority group are inoculated with Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines inside a cinema-turned vaccination hub in a mall on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (ALI VICOY/MANILA BULLETIN)

Data shared by the DOT showed that a total of 27,708 out of the 29,066 tourism frontliners in Metro Manila have been inoculated as of Friday, Aug. 20—a development that is expected to boost the local tourism scene’s recovery.

“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.

According to Puyat, the bulk or 19,350 of the vaccinated workers came from the A1 priority group while 8,538 are from the A4 sector — all are currently employed in quarantine or isolation facilities, multiple-use hotels, and staycation hotels that are accredited by the DOT.

Aside from personnel of accommodation establishments, some 2,778 out of the 4,565 workers of DOT-accredited restaurants in Metro Manila have also received their anti-COVID jabs.

The DOT admitted that there have been challenges in inoculating 100 percent of tourism frontliners such as the employees’ refusal to be vaccinated, as well as some who prefer a specific vaccine brand.

Meanwhile, the tourism chief expressed her gratitude to its partner government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, and local chief executives and chief health officers in the NCR for their support to DOT’s vaccination program for tourism workers.

“We shall continue our close collaboration with the NTF, 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,” Puyat said.

She 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 percent 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.