TEMPERATURE CHECK. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat has her temperature taken by a hotel receptionist in this undated photo. Puyat lauded the inclusion of tourism front-line service personnel in the priority group of the country's vaccination program. | PNA File photo

The inclusion of tourism frontline service personnel in the priority group of the country’s inoculation program against COVID-19 was recently lauded by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

In a statement this week, Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of the DOT said it is important for frontliners, particularly those manning the points of entry and those who serve in accommodation establishments that have been repurposed as quarantine facilities to receive their vaccines.

“These personnel have been there at the onset of the pandemic – had risked life and limb during the repatriation efforts and up to now, remain at risk with the constant exposure with incoming travelers and guests from all parts of the world,” Puyat said in a news release Friday.

As contained in the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group for Covid-19 Vaccines Resolution No. 1, approved on February 5, 2021, tourism frontliners fall within the Priority Group iv. A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ.

“Protection through the vaccine and health care support systems will primarily boost their immune system and more importantly, fortify their mental and emotional core to continue working under stressful Covid conditions,” Puyat added.

Pre-Covid, the tourism industry used to employ 5.7 million workers.

“We also look forward to the inclusion of tourism industry workforce at recently-opened destinations, who operate facilities and serve guests directly, as part of the priority groups for vaccination. Our sector’s human capital is essential to the country’s socio-economic recovery,” she said.



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