According to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, before the year ends, the government is targeting to inoculate all five million tourism workers against COVID-19.
As more vaccines are being delivered in the country, NTF Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. approved the allocation of 20,000 doses per week for tourism workers.
The weekly allocations cover the tourism stakeholders such as the hotel and resort employees, including the workers in restaurants, airports, and those part of the informal economy doing business in tourist destinations.
“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,” he said, according to the report of GMA News.
Additionally, the Philippine government is also planning to increase its vaccination program for tourism workers in the regions, especially in Cebu; the said region already has 50% of its tourism workers vaccinated, and 99% are expected to be injected before Christmas.
“By providing our workers here in Cebu with an extra layer of protection against the virus, they will have more confidence to return to their jobs, which in turn, shall encourage tourism operators to increase their operational capacity and result in an economic revival here in the province,” Galvez said.
In the 27 million confirmed vaccine doses arriving in the Philippines, 20 million are allocated for these regions: 317,144 for the Cebu province, 60,960 for Cebu City, 40,220 for Mandaue City, and 29,310 for Lapu-Lapu City.
Alfred Reyes, the President of the Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu, welcomed the vaccination plan; as he reconfirms the group’s commitment to assist the government in its vaccination program.
“Restarting the industry relies on the success of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which requires voluntary individual participation to reduce the risk of both host and visitors,” he said.
“Vaccination is one of the key factors that can help revive both domestic and international tourism,” Reyes added.