Covid Vaccines for Tourism Frontliners Arriving in Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY – In a dramatic statement made this afternoon in a zoom meeting with tourism industry stakeholders, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced that 10,000 doses of Vaccines will be arriving in Bohol as early as this week.

“The National Government has approved the request of Governor Art Yap for additional vaccines in Bohol so that tourism front-liners in Bohol can start preparing for a bigger re-opening of tourism in the coming days,” Sec. Romulo-Puyat declared.

“With these Gamaleya vaccines, we can at least start with ensuring that 5,000 front-liners from accredited hotel and resort staff, transport operators, tour site and restaurant facilities, will be vaccinated to protect themselves, visitors and local residents alike from the possible severe impact of Covid infections,” she added.

Bohol, which is a prime tourism destination in the country has been reeling from the massive downturn in the sector. In numbers commissioned by the Provincial Government, more than 200,000 people have either been laid of, are on itinerant work schedules or have had their livelihoods gravely affected when lockdowns and quarantines became the norm during the Pandemic.

“Bohol basically draws its income from remittances abroad and the services sector, and both sources have been impacted during this crisis. The promise of more vaccines arriving sooner than later is indeed great news so we can protect not only our local residents, but assure visitors alike that we are taking measures to assure their safety as well,” Governor Yap said.

“With local tourism front-liners being vaccinated, the hope of opening up Bohol to regional travel bubbles coming from Asian and other destinations also becomes more possible in the coming days,” Sec. Romulo-Puyat explained.

Governor Yap clarified that tourism workers coming from accredited establishments who have secured their DOT Certifications and the local tourism seal of excellence in Bohol (Ulitmate Bohol Experience or “UBE” Seal), are going to be prioritized in the early vaccination program. Establishments who are willing to donate vaccines to the Government, are also welcome.

“In that regard, I wish to thank Mr. Henry Chusuey of the Hennan Group, for his commitment to donate the equal number and some more, of the vaccines his employees will be receiving in this program,” Gov Yap revealed.

DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat has assured Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap that tourism frontliners in the province will get Covid vaccines sooner than later in response to Governor Yap’s request to the national government.

“There are no standard procedures in confronting this Global Pandemic. We have to make a stand to experiment with ways and means to recover the lives of our people. Along the way, mistakes and lapses do occur but in discovering and addressing them, is the way forward in adapting to this crisis. I appreciate that Bohol under Governor Art Yap is one of those Provinces who are showing the way in adapting to the demands of this Pandemic. Bohol’s local procedures have always striven to keep the locals safe while remaining welcome to tourism. This makes Bohol a prime candidate when we begin opening up direct travel bubbles with select regional destinations very soon,” Sec. Romulo-Puyat said.