Boracay tourism workers get more vaccines from gov’t
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — More vaccines for tourism workers on Boracay Island were sent on Monday as tourist arrivals continue to reach new peaks since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The 10,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines for tourism workers on the popular resort island were on top of the 3,000 doses sent to Boracay earlier this month.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said the latest batch of vaccines would benefit 6,500 tourism workers.
The 3,000 doses will be given as second doses to the first batch who were inoculated, while the remaining 7,000 doses were intended as first and second doses to another batch of 3,500 workers.
“I am very happy to see that more and more tourism workers in Boracay are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and are able to return to their livelihood with confidence,” Puyat said in a statement.
The latest batch of tourism workers who will get their jabs included 2,230 employed in accommodation establishments, 551 in restaurants, and 397 in dive shops, spas, travel and tours, souvenir shops, jetty ports, and other essential service providers.
Also receiving first and second doses are 142 workers in tourism-related cooperatives, 105 in the transport sector, and 76 in government front-line service offices and agencies, including the island’s police force, immigration staff, and rehabilitation management group.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) is targeting the full vaccination of 11,620 tourism workers on the island.
Puyat also thanked the private sector for helping in the vaccination drive on the island.
She cited Filinvest Hospitality which operates Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay for donating 5,000 vaccine doses and giant property developer Megaworld Corp., which operates Belmont Hotel Boracay and Savoy Hotel Boracay, for pledging to donate 5,000 vaccine doses.
“We continue to enlist the support of private sector stakeholders to do the same so that we can inoculate more tourism workers and spur the tourism industry’s recovery at a faster rate,” Puyat said.
Tourist arrivals on the island continue to surge with 29,660 tourists visiting Boracay from July 1 to July 25. The figure already surpassed last month’s total of 26,354, which was the highest since March last year before the island was closed to tourists.
—NESTOR P. BURGOS JR. AND TINA G. SANTOS
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