CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat underscored that there is no hesitancy among workers in the tourism sector in availing the COVID-19 vaccines.
“All of those working in the tourism sector want to be vaccinated because that is the only way to restart the economy, to restart businesses. What is important to us is that it is not only the tourists who are vaccinated, but we are also protected,” she said during the Ceremonial Vaccination for Tourism Workers in Pampanga.
The cabinet official cited the importance of focusing on the inoculation of workers, being the backbone of the tourism industry, in a bid to reopen local destinations and in turn revitalize the economy.
Puyat also highlighted that Pampanga is one of the priority provinces in the vaccination drive as it attracts tourists on its cuisine, and various destinations.
“I can’t wait for the day that people will say you have a very beautiful airport [Clark International Airport], probably the most beautiful in the country, and when they land here, we can proudly say that everyone is vaccinated. That is a very good promotion,” she added.
The two-day vaccine roll-out targets to jab a total of 1,000 active tourism workers in the province including 814 from accommodation establishments; 142 from restaurants; 15 from Meetings, Incentives, and Conventions, and Exhibitions segments; 14 from travel and tour agencies; 8 from other tourism workforces; 3 from tourist and transport operators; 2 from health and wellness; and 1 each from farm tourism, and tourism trainer.
Meanwhile, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon echoed the need to open local tourism not only for the tourists but also for the people who depend on it as their only source of livelihood.
As the country’s culinary capital, he said that many tourists are visiting Pampanga, that is why it is important to inoculate workers in the province’s tourist destinations to attract more inbound visitor arrivals once the local tourism fully reopens.
Dizon shared that they will conduct more inoculation drives to various tourism hotspots in the country, as what they did in Bohol, Palawan and Boracay, to show the workers that they are important to the government.
Department of Tourism reported that based on the latest submission of respective local government units, Central Luzon has a total of 22,319 tourism workers.
Of this number, 4,221 are already vaccinated under the A4 priority group or economic frontliners including 1,931 in Bulacan; 668 in Bataan; 300 in Nueva Ecija; 300 in Pampanga and Angeles City; 224 in Clark Freeport Zone; 223 in Tarlac; 213 in Zambales; 168 Subic Bay Freeport Zone; 103 in Aurora; and 12 in Olongapo City.
Also, 1,627 received their jabs in the A1 category or healthcare workers including 812 in Clark Freeport Zone; 527 in Pampanga and Angeles City; 141 in Tarlac; 109 in Subic Bay Freeport Zone; and 38 in Olongapo City.