General Luna, Siargao Island — The Department of Tourism (DOT), in coordination with the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, has committed to provide more vaccines for tourism workers to sustain the recovery of the pandemic-hit industry in the country’s surfing capital.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat and NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon on Friday (August 27), graced the vaccination rollout for tourism workers in tourism hotspot Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte. *A total of 2,000 first doses for 2,000 tourism workers were delivered in a bid to ramp up the inoculation efforts in the country’s major tourism destinations.*
“Our goal is to vaccinate 100% of our tourism workers. We urge all eligible tourism employees in Siargao to avail of the vaccines. Protecting ourselves from the highly transmissible Delta variant means ensuring that all safety measures are in place, the most critical of which is vaccination,” Puyat said during the ceremonial vaccination held at the Siargao Tourism Assistance Center in General Luna.
“The eventual reopening of Siargao will depend on the successful collaboration between national and local government, as well as the private sector and local community. We ask for the support of the LGU to strictly enforce the minimum health and safety protocols, such as masking and physical distancing in the island,” the tourism chief added.
Puyat said that the DOT aims to inoculate Siargao’s 13,150 tourism workers. As of August 25, a total of 833 tourism workers on the island have already received their first dose of Sinovac vaccines through the Rural Health Unit (RHU) of the Department of Health (DOH).
Siargao has been recognized as TIME Magazine’s one of the World’s Greatest Places for 2021. Tourist arrivals on the island have picked up since it reopened its doors to local tourists recording 8,007 arrivals from January to August this year.
However, the imposition of an executive order from the local government restricting the entry of tourists extending until August 31.
Siargao is the latest stop on the DOT’s vaccination rollout tour. Secretaries Puyat and Dizon also lead the vaccination program for the priority tourism frontliners of key tourism destinations such as Bohol, Boracay, El Nido, Coron, San Vicente, Puerto Princesa City, and Pampanga.