MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is looking to complete the vaccination against COVID-19 of more than 5 million tourism workers in the country by the end of the year, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.
NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Cabinet Secretaries and task force officials set this target during the ceremonial vaccination for tourism industry workers in Cebu last Friday.
“When the pandemic struck, the nation’s tourism sector took a major hit. We believe that in order for the industry to get back on its feet and safely open our economy, we need to vaccinate as many members of our workforce as possible,” he said.
Galvez has approved an allocation of 20,000 doses per week for tourism workers.
Weekly allocations will cover employees in hotels and resorts, as well as in restaurants, airports, tourist destinations, and other tourism-related establishments across the country.
Galvez said the government is planning to boost the vaccination program for tourism workers in regions and provinces, especially in Cebu province where about 50% of tourism workers have already been vaccinated.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, for her part, said the agency aims to fully vaccinate 99% of its tourism workers in Cebu before the holiday season.
She added that the NTF has committed to allocate a specific volume of vaccine doses for tourism workers that will come from the supplies to be shipped to local government units nationwide.