_freeman
^
For 2 days amid full quarantine facilities: MCIA bars OFWs
“Because the 2, 500 rooms that were made available for OFWs and ROFs are already nearing full capacity and, for that reason, ang MCIA nideklarar na nga mosira two days, May 14 to May 15. Gi-cancel na ang mga flights, that is why I have to call an emergency meeting this morning (May 13),” Garcia said in a Facebook live session over Sugbo News, the Capitol’s news arm.

For 2 days amid full quarantine facilities: MCIA bars OFWs

Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - May 14, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Today and tomorrow, May 14 and 15, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is not accepting passengers from international flights, including overseas Filipino workers and returning overseas Filipinos, because there are no available rooms for them at designated quarantine facilities.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia revealed that airport officials have decided to cancel trips carrying OFWs and ROFs from abroad because quarantine rooms here are almost full.

“Because the 2, 500 rooms that were made available for OFWs and ROFs are already nearing full capacity and, for that reason, ang MCIA nideklarar na nga mosira two days, May 14 to May 15. Gi-cancel na ang mga flights, that is why I have to call an emergency meeting this morning (May 13),” Garcia said in a Facebook live session over Sugbo News, the Capitol’s news arm.

In Cebu, at least 35 hotels have been identified as quarantine facilities for returning Filipinos but these facilities are now bursting at the seams with the recent deluge of returnees.

“Tungod kay ang non-Cebuanos, kinahanglan ipaistar og 10 ka adlaw, mao nang kagabii (Wednesday evening), panic na kay napuno na ang 2,500 rooms. MCIA had to declare a closure. Dili usa ta modawat og incoming flights kay wala na tay mabutangan,” Garcia explained.

Cancelled flights

Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority general manager Glenn Napuli said that about 650 passengers are expected to be affected by the two-day cancellation of the international flights bound for Cebu.

Napuli said these international flights that are supposed to land at MCIA on May 14 and 15 come from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, United States, and Japan.

“But all these flights are cancelled already,” Napuli said, adding that not all 650 passengers are OFWs or ROFs.

Napuli said that as per information from the Department of Tourism, Cebu can resume accommodating OFWs and ROFs on May 16. He said no international flights are allowed for May 14-15 to be safe on the room allocations.

By May 16, about 300 rooms are expected to be available already based on the arrivals for May 11 and 12, which are expected to leave the quarantine facilities by then.

Napuli said that an average 600 OFWs or ROFs arrive at MCIA daily but only 20 percent of these are from Cebu.

Rules for returning Cebuanos

Meanwhile, Garcia said that all OFWs and ROFs coming into Cebu through the MCIA will still have to undergo RT-PCR test upon arrival at the airport.

They will wait up to two days for their results and if found negative, they will be allowed to go home.

On the seventh day of their home quarantine, though, they will be subject for another swab test.

“On the 7th day, they will be swabbed again, free of charge by the DOH, kay mao naman ni ang atong practice -- libre ang swabbing. They will be tested again sa mga Cebuanos,” Garcia said.

Rules for non-Cebuanos

As for OFWs and ROFs who are not from Cebu, they will still be subject to RT-PCR test upon arrival at the airport but have to comply with other requirements.

“Ang kadtong mga dili Cebuanos will have to show proof sa ilang itinerary kay they are considered transients. Mouli sila sa ilang mga probinsya, sa ilang mga syudad outside Cebu, and they will have to subject themselves to protocols of that local government unit,” Garcia said.

The governor issued a memorandum yesterday setting guidelines for OFWs and ROFs who are not from Cebu.

The memorandum stated that upon check-in at the place of departure, the non-Cebuano OFW or ROF is required to present a letter of acceptance from their LGU of destination containing a commitment that they shall comply with reasonable health protocols of the same LGU of destination.

For ROFs, they shall also present proof of their connecting flight from Cebu to their home LGU.

“OFWs need not present proof of their connecting flights as OWWA (Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration) shall arrange sweeper flights for their return to their LGUs of destination,” part of the memorandum read.

According to the guidelines, the OFWs and ROFs with negative swab results “shall stay in the hotel or in the designated holding area in the MCIA until their next flight despite having a negative RT-PCR test result.”

Those OFWs and ROFs who are not from Cebu who fail to comply with these requirements shall not be allowed entry into Cebu.

Garcia stressed that this move is not discriminatory against non-Cebuanos explaining that her jurisdiction is limited only to Cebu province and that she did not want to overstep the rules implemented in other LGUs. — Mitchelle L. Palubsanon, JMD (FREEMAN)

MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with