By Junex Doronio
June 6, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Some call her the “Iron Lady of Cebu” and this moniker seems to have been proven true when Governor Gwen Garcia was able to persuade Malacañang on her correct approach on the pandemic as overseas flights bound for Cebu can now land again at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in this city starting Sunday, June 6.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed a memorandum diverting all international flights bound for the MCIA to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from 1 a.m. from May 29 up to 11:59 p.m. on Saturday-June 5 was not extended.
“Per memo from the Executive Secretary, the diversion is only up to June 5 at 11:59 p.m. So tomorrow, June 6, flights to Cebu will resume. Resumption will push through unless an extension of the diversion will be ordered. So far there is none yet,” Lawyer Glenn Napuli, MCIA officer-in-charge, said.
For his part, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac confirmed that overseas flights to Cebu resume on Sunday.
Earlier, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque profusely denied that the national government will file charges of insubordination against Garcia.
Garcia and Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) Secretary Michael Dino excused themselves from a PDP-Laban council meeting on May 31, to travel to Manila and meet President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to discuss the matter.
Roque has denied reports that he, along with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, is mulling over filing charges against Garcia.
“This is not within my scope of duties and responsibilities as Presidential Spokesperson and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Spokesperson,” Roque said.
Malacanang earlier said that the rerouting of overseas flights bound for Cebu was done due to the lack of quarantine hotels for returning Filipinos.
The Cebu governor met with President Duterte on May 31 to explain Cebu’s policy.
Garcia said she explained to Duterte the “humanitarian aspect” of Cebu’s quarantine protocols.
She told the President that Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and Overseas Filipino Workers would be able to spend more time with their families because they do not have to wait in quarantine hotels for seven days to be swabbed and a few more days until the swab results come out.
“We swab twice because when he goes back to his family, he is swabbed again on the seventh day. I brought up the humanitarian aspect that they (ROFs and OFWs) don’t have much time. They come home because they have a reason,” Garcia stressed. (AI/MTVN)