MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) has requested 62,000 doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine from the Department of Health (DOH) to inoculate some 31,000 tourism workers in Palawan.
Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat personally visited the premier tourist destinations of Coron, El Nido, San Vicente, and Puerto Princesa City where she announced the agency's 31,000-jab target.
An initial 4,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine have arrived in these areas and will be used to vaccinate the first batch of Palawan tourism workers, according to the DOT.
“Today marks a milestone in the Department of Tourism’s pandemic recovery program as we begin the vaccination of tourism front-liners in four key destinations around Palawan Island. It is crucial that we continue the swift rolling out of the national vaccination program in order to prevent the spread of the Delta variant,” Romulo-Puyat said in her speech.
She then assured that more doses of the Covid vaccine will arrive in the weeks to follow as tourism destinations like Palawan have been welcoming local travelers.
Of the 62,000 doses requested, around 30,000 are allocated for Puerto Princesa City, which employs nearly 15,000 tourism workers. The remaining 32,000 vaccine doses will be for Coron, El Nido, and San Vicente.
“Vaccinating our tourism front-liners will provide protection, peace of mind, and the confidence to travel as we boost recovery and restore livelihoods by promoting domestic tourism. The escalating community quarantines is another roadblock in our progress, but it is a necessary and temporary setback to safeguard the public,” Romulo-Puyat said.
She said only by vaccinating and protecting the tourism workers could the country boost travel confidence, which would eventually result in the restoration of jobs and revenue that were lost because of the pandemic.
Even at the height of the pandemic, Palawan continues to be regarded as one of the tourism gems of the world.
In 2020, it gained a citation from the prestigious Travel + Leisure company as the World’s Best Island, emerging on top not for the first time, scoring 94.83 out of 100.
Romulo-Puyat was joined by Testing czar and National Task Force Against Covid-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon during the ceremonial vaccination of tourism workers on the island.
Also present were Palawan Governor Jose Chaves Alvarez, 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez, 3rd District Rep. Gil Acosta Jr., Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron, and Palawan municipal mayors Amy Alvarez (San Vicente), Edna Lim (El Nido), and Mario Reyes (Coron). (PNA)