Galvez targets inoculation of all tourism workers by year-end

Published September 25, 2021, 1:28 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

To help revive the economy that was badly hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, all tourism workers in the country are intended to be vaccinated by the national government by the end of 2021, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

File photo of Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (Photo: NTF Against COVID-19)

“When the pandemic struck, the nation’s tourism sector took a major hit. We believe that in order for the industry to get back on its feet and safely open our economy, we need to vaccinate as many members of our workforce as possible,” said Galvez during the ceremonial vaccination of tourism industry workers in Cebu on Friday, Sept. 24.

To help speed up the inoculation of tourism workers, the NTF allocated 20,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines per week for them.

The life-saving jabs are seen to benefit not only those who work at hotel and resorts but also the employees in restaurants, airports, and members of the informal economy who are doing business in tourist destinations.

According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), there are currently more than five million individuals who are part of the tourism workforce or are employed in tourism-related establishments nationwide.

Galvez said the vaccination of tourism workers in major tourist hubs, such as Cebu, will revitalize the economy as they will already be protected against the threat of COVID-19.

Around 50 percent of the province’s tourism workers have already been vaccinated and the DOT aims to fully vaccinate 99 percent of the workforce in Cebu before Christmas.

From Sept. 1 to 23, a total of 14,798,750 vaccine doses have been delivered to the country.

Galvez said 317,144 doses were allocated in Cebu; 60,960 doses in Cebu City; 40,220 doses in Mandaue City; and 29,310 doses in Lapu-Lapu City. A buffer supply of 46,990 doses was also set aside for the province.

Meanwhile, Alfred Reyes, president of Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu, reaffirmed the group’s commitment to help the government in inoculating 100 percent of employees in the tourism workforce.

“Restarting the industry relies on the success of the COVId-19 vaccination campaign which requires individual voluntary participation to reduce the risk of both host and visitors. Vaccination os one of the key factors that can help revive both domestic and international tourism,” Reyes said.