Airport authorities here are gearing up for Wednesday’s resumption of domestic commercial flights to and from Manila by two of the country’s largest carriers.
Dumaguete-Sibulan airport manager Mark Diamaoden, who also heads the local Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), confirmed in an interview Tuesday afternoon that Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific had already forwarded advisories for their proposed flight schedules.
These would be the first commercial flights here, after air travel was suspended last March 14 due to the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Metro Manila.
PAL will fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with only one flight per day, Diamaoden said.
The time for their arrival and departure from here, however, has not yet been announced, Diamaoden said.
He said he has asked both airlines to schedule their flights at least three hours apart from each other to avoid traffic at the airport, especially at the passenger terminal, pre-departure, and the arrival areas.
Domestic passengers, he said, are now required to check-in three hours before their flight departure.
The time difference would also give airport authorities enough opportunity to disinfect the passenger terminal, including the pre-departure and arrival areas, as well as the luggage and cargoes, among others, he said.
Diamaoden assured that the airport here is ready for the influx of air travelers, with safety and health protocols in place.
The provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), meanwhile, is awaiting a supplemental executive order by Gov. Roel Degamo, on further guidelines on the general community quarantine (GCQ), said task force executive director Adrian Sedillo.
Negros Oriental is still under extended GCQ from June 1 to 15.
A meeting was scheduled Tuesday afternoon to discuss, among other things, the resumption of commercial flights here, including the handling of locally stranded individuals (LSIs), overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and other persons coming in via air travel, Sedillo said.
Diamaoden said he will be awaiting the executive order so he can forward the same to the airlines in the event of additional requirements for inbound passengers.
Capitol Public Information Officer and spokesperson Bimbo Miraflor said he “received information from the Provincial Tourism Office that PAL flights will definitely start tomorrow (Wednesday)”.
Requirements are basically the same for the LSI, namely, a medical certificate and an authority to travel, he said.
For OFWs, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will facilitate their travel to include their requirements, he added, while for business travelers, a medical certificate and certificate of employment are required.
The arriving passengers, except for the business travelers, will be required to under the mandatory quarantine at their respective home towns or cities, while the OFWs may have to stay at a hotel, as previously arranged by the OWWA, until they are cleared by health authorities to return home, Sedillo said.
Meanwhile, the IATF Executive Committee, on late Tuesday afternoon, came up with a list of added requirements for inbound passengers to Dumaguete, Miraflor said.
Apart from the medical certificate and authority to travel for returning OFWs and LSIs, a medical certificate, certificate of employment/mission order/letter order will also be required for authorized persons outside of residence (APORs), he added.
APORs include those working in the uniformed services and other members of the workforce.
The IATF-EID here received the guidelines from CAAP only on Tuesday, Miraflor said. (PNA)
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