Taytay, Rizal — Tourism workers of Rizal were vaccinated against Covid-19 on Wednesday (October 6) in a joint effort by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and local officials to resuscitate the tourism industry in CALABARZON region, which recorded the highest number of arrivals before the pandemic.
A target total of 13,194 tourism workers in the Rizal province will be inoculated following proceedings attended by Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon, Rizal 1st District Representative Jack Duavit, Vice Governor Reynaldo San Juan Jr., Taytay Mayor George Ricardo “Joric” Gacula, Provincial Tourism Officer Dr. Corazon Laserna, Municipal Tourism Officer Rod Santos, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Roxas, and DOT 4A – OIC Maritess Castro.
During the ceremonial vaccination, Puyat expressed her gratitude to the province’s local officials for their support in the DOT’s drive to vaccinate and protect the industry’s stakeholders.
“The vaccination of tourism workers, along with the implementation of health and safety guidelines for conduct of tourism activities, is one of the priority measures of the DOT during the pandemic,” said the tourism chief.
“With a protected workforce, we can look forward to a swifter recovery and better times ahead,” Puyat added.
Among those for vaccination are tourism workers in DOT-accredited hotels, resorts, restaurants, and transport operators. The list also includes artists, those employed in farm tourism, health and wellness, tourism training, and workers from the Taytay Tiangee.
“We hope that those of you who are still undecided will do the right thing, if not for yourselves and for the chance to avail yourselves of services reserved for vaccinated individuals, then for your family and community members, who may be at high risk,” Puyat said.
With close to 9 million overnight tourists and over 51 million same-day arrivals, CALABARZON recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals among the country’s regions in 2019. The province of Rizal alone accounted for 36 percent of the overnight arrivals, and 60 percent of the same-day visits.
Of the region’s 2019 total tourist receipts of Php 93.9 billion, Rizal accounted for Php 28.2 billion.
For this reason, Puyat said, the reopening of tourism activities in the region is crucial to the industry’s overall recovery from the pandemic.
She noted that 20 tourism establishments in Rizal have been approved by the DOT to use the Safety Seal, which provides guests and customers the assurance of establishments’ compliance to minimum health standards.
Puyat also bared the recalibrated tourism products and new developments planned for Rizal, which include the Faith, Food, Art, Adventure and Nature Tourism Circuit. The Circuit features tourist attractions in Antipolo, Angono, Taytay, and Cainta.
Its proximity to Metro Manila, in addition to its vast spaces and attractions, make Rizal an ideal tourism development to stimulate the recovery of the industry. The other provinces in CALABARZON–Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon–also have their own novel tourism projects.
Meanwhile, all of the region’s provinces are part of the CALABARZON Green Corridor Initiative, the flagship domestic program of the DOT Region IV-A Office for tourism recovery and response in the new normal, and for the promotion of the region as a fun, sustainable, and safe destination.
“These tourism circuit bubbles are part of the continuing initiative to stimulate the demand for travel to and from the CALABARZON Region and Rizal Province, and jumpstart leisure travel by land through responsible tourism. These travel bubbles will help generate jobs in Rizal Province and its neighboring towns, this providing business and livelihood opportunities that drive economic growth,” said Puyat.