(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) lauded the tourism stakeholders of Davao City for spearheading an "innovative" vaccination program for travel and hospitality employees, including A4 priority group members.

Dubbed as "Bakuna by the Sea," the vaccination program will be held at the seaside tropical garden of the Waterfront Insular Hotel Pavilion from June 30 to July 2.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat thanked Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte for including tourism industry workers on the city's vaccination priority list.

She likewise thanked the private sector for their contribution in organizing the unique vaccination program, saying it would further spur the recovery of Davao's tourism, an industry that bore the brunt of the pandemic.

"I would like to congratulate the DATA for working with the City government of Davao to start inoculating our tourism workers. The recent designation of the NCR Plus area as a low-risk area is a welcome sign that the national vaccination program is working, and we hope to see this replicated in Davao as soon as possible," Puyat said in her video message.

The program will allocate 14,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines for the initial 7,000 tourism workers to receive the life-saving shots.

The Davao LGU said around 6,000 tourism workers in the city have already preregistered for the event.

“This special vaccination program for tourism workers should be replicated across the country. I hope that other local government units in the country will follow suit so we can bring back the thousands of tourism jobs that were lost amid the pandemic," she added.

"Let us remember that we are a community, and we are not just protecting ourselves but the people around us. As tourism workers who have to interact with so many different people face to face, your health and safety are important. This is a pivotal step in the road to recovery as we need to do it together," the tourism chief added.

Last week, the Bohol local government began inoculating their tourism workers after the arrival of 10,000 doses of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines in the province.

Initiated by the National Task Force against Covid-19 through the DOT, the program seeks to vaccinate 5,000 tourism workers on the island.

As of June 24, 2021, 7,015 tourism workers from seven regions in the country have already been inoculated against the disease. (PR)