DOT plans to vaccinate 5,000 tourist employees in Bohol

BOHO’S TAGBILARAN CITY – Tourist Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said today (June 14) in a virtual conference with the province’s tourism sector stakeholders that 10,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccination would arrive in Bohol as soon as this week.

“I am overjoyed to report that our request for more vaccinations for Bohol has been granted by vaccine czars Sec. Carlito Galvez and Sec. Vince Dizon. With this, the industry’s front-runners may begin planning for a larger tourist reopening in the following days,” Puyat exulted.

Gamalea Sputnik, a Russian COVID-19 vaccine brand, will be among the doses coming (Gam-COVID-Vac).

“With these vaccinations, we can be certain that frontline employees from authorized hotels and resorts, transportation providers, tour sites, and restaurant facilities will be better protected against COVID-19,” she said.

Bohol, a popular tourist destination, has been hit hard by the industry’s slump. According to the Provincial Government, the community quarantine impacted over 200,000 employees, who were either laid off by their companies or forced to work on nomadic schedules.

Workers from DOT-accredited businesses with the Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) and Bohol’s tourist badge of excellence, the Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE) Seal, would be prioritized in the early immunization campaign, according to Governor Yap.

“Remittances from overseas and the services industry are both sources of revenue for Bohol, and both have been affected by the crisis. The prospect of additional vaccinations coming sooner rather than later is excellent news, as it allows us to safeguard not just our inhabitants but also tourists, who can rest assured that we are taking precautions to ensure their safety,” Yap said.

Puyat said that she is hopeful that a travel bubble between Bohol and Asian locations would be possible soon, thanks to the vaccination of tourist employees in the province.

“In dealing with this epidemic, there are no conventional methods. We need to come up with new ways to help the country recover. It will be a continuous struggle, and new obstacles will arise, but the only way to adapt to this situation is to identify and solve them. Local practices in Bohol have traditionally aimed to keep residents secure while staying welcoming to tourists. As a result, when we start opening up direct travel bubbles with chosen regional locations very soon, Bohol will be a great candidate,” Puyat said.

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