THE Department of Tourism (DOT) has asked Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementor of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination program, to widen the vaccination priority list for frontline workers of the tourism industry to include tour guides, operators and other accredited workers and service providers.
According to the DOT, while Galvez has included those working in airports and quarantine hotels on the immunization Priority Group A4, it hopes the priority list would extend to other tourism groups, especially those whose work requires face-to-face interaction.
“The frontline nature of the jobs of these workers requires face-to-face interaction with individuals and groups as we prepare for the recovery of the industry, which contributes some 12.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product,” the DOT said in a statement.
“Not only will vaccination protect these workers from the Covid-19 virus as we prepare to welcome foreign and domestic tourists, it also serves as a firewall of sorts that will restrict the spread of the virus in our tourist destinations. The lifting of travel restrictions and the quick recovery of the tourism industry — and the national economy as a whole — hinge heavily on the health and safety of our tourism workers,” the agency said.
Due to the limited supply of Covid-19 vaccines, the government through the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group created a priority list to ensure fair allocation of the vaccine.
A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers etc.
A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above
A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories
A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases as essential during enhanced community quarantine
A5: Indigent populations not otherwise included in the preceding categories
B1: Teachers, social workers
B2: Other government workers
B3: Other essential workers
B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigent people
B5: Overseas Filipino workers
B6: Other remaining workforce
C: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups. (KOC)