DOT lauds inclusion of tourism frontliners in PH’s vaccination priority group

Gov. Ryan Singson of Ilocos Sur (one of the tourism hotspots) and DOT Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat /Photo from DOT FB page
(Press Release)

The Department of Tourism (DOT) lauds Covid Task Force Chief, Secretary Carlito Galvez for granting the DOT’s request to include tourism frontline service personnel in the Priority Group of the country’s vaccination program against the coronavirus disease.

“It is, indeed, critical for our frontliners, especially those who continue to man our ports of entry and those who serve at accommodation establishments that have been repurposed as quarantine facilities. They 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,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat remarked.

As contained in the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) for Covid-19 Vaccines Resolution No. 1, approved on February 5, 2021, tourism frontliners fall within 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,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat quipped.

Pre-Covid-19, 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,” the DOT chief added.