Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat lauded the 100 percent vaccination of the more than 5,000 tourism workers in the city to help in the government’s effort to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the country’s population, aside from ensuring their health and safety and those of the visitors.
Puyat, who joined Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Presidential Adviser on Anti-COVID-19 response Vince Dizon in the launching of the Resbakuna Sa Botika here, disclosed that Baguio City had served as a model in the implementation of the basic health and safety protocols that paved the way for the city being the first local government to open its doors to tourists in September 2020 as part of the ongoing efforts of the government to gradually and safely revive the heavily impacted local economy.
She pointed out that the tourism sector has been one of the heavily impacted sectors of the country because of the implementation of the series of lockdowns that caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of tourism workers in the different parts of the archipelago over the past several months and the closure of some tourist destinations.
The tourism official claimed that the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases continues to adopt strategies to help mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic to the country’s tourism industry for it to regain its vibrance once the situation will improve in the coming months.
According to her, the immediate attainment of the 100 vaccination of tourism workers in the city shows their verdant desire to get back to work.
On October 1, 2020, Baguio City and the local governments in Region I implemented the Ridge to Reef Tourism bubble as part of the government’s efforts to gradually and safely revive the local economy.
The city then expanded the coverage of the bubble to visitors from the National Capital Region and other neighboring regions before opening the same to visitors from the different parts of the country.
Secretary Puyat also commended the city for pioneering the online registration of tourists wanting to visit the city and imposing a limit on the number of visitors allowed to enter the city daily.
Puyat remains optimistic on the bright prospects for the country’s tourism industry once people will be allowed to move around with strict compliance to minimum public health standards to revive the soonest tourism which is one of the nation’s major economic drivers.
She also expressed the support of the tourism department to the ongoing efforts of the government to vaccinate some 77 million Filipinos by the end of the first quarter of this year to achieve the desired herd immunity with the country already having inoculation of some 54 million individuals by the second week of this month which was aimed the end of last year.