The Department of Tourism’s vaccination program for tourism workers continued on Thursday (Aug. 12) with the vaccine rollout of 2,000 anti-Covid doses covering both first and second dose of 1,000 active tourism frontliners at the city of San Fernando, Pampanga.
The Department’s Region 3 office and the provincial government of Pampanga partnered with SM Pampanga to conduct the vaccine rollout, bringing the number of fully vaccinated individuals in the province to over 240,000. The vaccines were provided by the Department of Health.
“It is very much important for our tourism workers to be vaccinated, especially with the emergence of new variants. Hence, the Department is supporting every initiative to inoculate every tourism worker in the country as soon as possible,” Puyat said in her speech during the ceremonial vaccination program at SM Pampanga.
The tourism chief was joined in the event by Secretary Vince Dizon, National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) deputy chief implementer, Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda and Mayor Edwin D. Santiago of San Fernando City.
“The two-day vaccine rollout in Pampanga is just an example of the Department’s commitment in helping the industry and its stakeholders recoup its losses while protecting its gains amid the health crisis,” she added.
Data from the DOH shows that of the 1.12 million individuals vaccinated in Region 3, a total of 243,287 have received their full dose.
Puyat noted that local tourism in the region for the first half of the year continues to show recovery with 2.25 million arrivals versus 622,705 recorded in the same period year-ago.
Likewise, tourist receipts grew to a hefty P11.27 billion from just P3.11 billion in the same comparable period.
While Pampanga has been open for leisure travelers since October 2020, the spike in cases along with the emergence of new variants prompted heightened restrictions in the province, requiring non-residents and unauthorized persons to present a negative RT-PCR test taken not more than 48 hours before entry.
Meanwhile, the DOT highlighted its assistance programs for the province, which includes conducting Tourism Rapid Assessment and providing technical assistance to Mt. Arayat National Park in establishing its reopening guidelines.
Pampanga is undertaking initiatives related to food mapping, among other things, to take advantage of its culture and culinary strength and to promote local tourism.
The DOT intends to help local government units in formulating their local tourism development plans, providing the overall direction toward sustainable tourism development aligned with the national tourism development plan.