MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Department of Tourism‘s (DOT) push to vaccinate tourism frontliners in Cebu continue to gain traction, following the inoculation of 7,764 tourism workers, or 51.89% percent of the 15,257 target as of 22 September 2021.
Of its initial 1,062 target, Mandaue City already provided shots for 647 tourism workers, translating to 60.92 percent vaccination rate, while Lapu-Lapu City inoculated 82.70 percent or 3,074 workers out of its initial 3,717 target.
On the other hand, Cebu City recorded a 60.23 percent vaccination rate or 2,453 tourism workers out of the 4,073 target. The province of Cebu has vaccinated 1,590 tourism workers or 24.82% of its 6,405 target.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat continued to call for a stronger public-private sector coordination to further speed up the coveted immunity among tourism workers.
“Vaccinating our tourism frontliners is the first step in regaining what the industry has lost from the pandemic hence, protecting our stakeholders in the soonest time will help reverse these effects and recoup our tourism’s momentum,” Puyat said during the ceremonial vaccination for tourism industry workers in Cebu on Friday.
“We need every help we can get to finally overcome this crisis as this really requires a whole-of-industry approach, involving not only the government but the private sector as well,” she added.
Puyat was joined by the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr., NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Visayas Deputy Chief Retired General Mel Feliciano, Mandaue City Councilor Immaline Cortes-Zafra, Project Balik Buhay (PBB) Chairman Mr. Edmun Liu, and Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu Inc. (HRRAC) President Alfred Reyes.
Among the Cebu vaccine recipients include Vincent P. Caracut, Chef of Bai Hotel, Judy Ann B. Fedillaga, Service Associate of Bai Hotel, Leonil C. Misa and Edwin S. Cuajotor, drivers of Catalina Car Rentals, Ferdinand S. Sy and Miraflor G. Zapanta, cooks of Lighthouse Restaurant, Rojie A. Yu, Reservations Supervisor of Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort, Rogelio R. Montilla of Kitchen Crew, Casa Verde Restaurant, Mariecon Avila of Service Crew, Casa Verde Restaurant, and Ferdece Emma B. Cruz, Purchasing Officer of Amethyst Boutique Hotel.
“From Boracay, Bohol, Siargao, Baguio, Palawan, and now, Cebu, we are sincerely grateful to the NTF, and Secretaries Galvez and Dizon, for recognizing the vital role that our tourism workers play in revitalizing the Philippine economy. With their help and the commitment of the Cebu stakeholders, 100% of the tourism workers in the province will be vaccinated by end of December of 2021,” added Puyat.
Meanwhile, the DOT reported higher accreditation among tourism establishments owing to the imposition of guidelines from the IATF-EID amid the pandemic.
As of 15 September 2021, tourism employees in DOT-accredited establishments from the Cebu Province, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City totaled 16,441, higher than the recorded 15,233 and 12,892 in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
As of the same date, DOT-accredited entities aggregated to 1,030 from the same cities. This compares to just 1,004 in 2020 and 724 in 2019.
Under the IATF-EID Resolution No. 95, s. 2021, only hotels and accommodation establishments with valid DOT accreditation shall be allowed to accept guests and clients for legitimate purposes under a state of public health emergency.