PROTECTING TOURISM WORKERS. A tourism worker receives his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine during the mass vaccination for tourism front-liners and workers in El Nido, Palawan on Aug. 3, 2021. The tourist destinations that will be prioritized by the DOT are El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente, Palawan; Puerto Princesa City, and Siargao. (DOT photo)

Tourism frontliners and workers in El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente in Palawan, and Puerto Princesa City, will be prioritized among the target vaccination recipients as the Department of Tourism (DOT) moves its recovery efforts to major locations in the country.

“We shall continue our coordination with NTF (National Task Force) chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez, to vaccinate tourism workers, especially in destinations whose economies rely primarily on tourism,” DOT Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in an issued statement Saturday, August 7.

The three towns have an estimated 16,000 tourism frontliners and workers, while Puerto Princesa City has 15,000.

The other destinations in the country which are also going to be recipients are Siargao-13,150; Bohol-13,000; Tagbilaran-2,500, and Boracay-12,809.

Recently, Puyat and National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer, Sec. Vince Dizon attended the ceremonial vaccination of tourism workers in Palawan where a total of 2,500 tourism workers were vaccinated.

The DOT said a total of 5,000 out of 13,000 tourism workers in Bohol have received their first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine, while 2,500 tourism workers in Tagbilaran are awaiting their first and second shots of Sinovac.

An additional 11,000 doses have been requested for the entire Bohol, covering DOT-accredited establishment and service providers.

In Boracay, 7,634 frontline and other tourism-related workers have been inoculated out of the targeted 12,809 tourism workers.

Puyat underlined her request for assistance from the Department of Transportation’s (DoT) public and private partners to speed up the department’s immunization campaign for tourism industry workers.

“Inoculating our tourism front-liners all over the country will be a key factor in reopening the industry, as well as restore the public’s confidence to travel, translating to higher socio-economic activities and boosting our recovery prospects. I call for public and private entities to practice the Bayanihan spirit in furthering the vaccination of our tourism workers,” Puyat said.

She noted that aside from its target beneficiaries in Bohol and Boracay who have yet to receive their vaccines, the DOT also seeks to speed up the vaccination of tourism workers in destinations that are not included in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8, which consists of the NCR, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal – areas that were identified by the government as the most populous and with the highest density, which makes them at greater risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) transmission.

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handles the online presence of Palawan News as its social media manager. When she has free time, she travels and writes about her adventures.