MANILA – Malacañang has extended the diversion of all international flights from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Cebu to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City until June 12.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on June 5 issued a memorandum on the extension of flight diversion from MCIA to NAIA to ensure the proper implementation of the testing and quarantine protocols imposed on returning Filipinos in the province, Presidential Spokesperson Harry said.
“The office [of Secretary Medialdea] extends the diversion of international flights bound for MCIA to Ninoy International Airport until 23:59 (11:59 p.m.) of 12 June 2021,” Roque announced in a virtual presser on Tuesday.
Medialdea, in a previous memorandum dated May 27, initially directed the diversion of international flights from MCIA to NAIA from May 29 to June 5.
Under the new memorandum, the anti-coronavirus measures imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and overseas Filipinos will be implemented in Cebu after June 13, Roque said.
“Upon resumption of international flights to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the travel and testing protocols approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management Emerging Infectious Diseases will be fully and seamlessly implemented,” he said.
The existing IATF-EID rules mandate all arriving passengers, including those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, to stay in a quarantine facility for 10 days and observe home quarantine for another four days.
Incoming travelers are also required to take an RT-PCR on the seventh day of their quarantine.
The latest memorandum was issued after President Rodrigo Duterte met with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia at Malacañan Palace in Manila on May 31 to reconcile the IATF-EID and the province’s different protocols against Covid-19.
Cebu earlier implemented a different set of protocols for returning Filipinos, which include two reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests within a week and a strict home quarantine due to limited isolation facilities in the province.
On June 1, Roque said Duterte has directed the Department of Health to assess Cebu’s different testing and quarantine protocols.
Garcia, in a separate press conference on June 1, said Duterte wants IATF-EID to see if the Covid-19 measures implemented in Cebu “could possibly be a way or innovation to be adopted” across the country.
Duterte, Garcia said, issued the statement as he acknowledged that Cebu’s testing and quarantine policy for OFWs and returning Filipinos is “working and perhaps be applied to other regions.” (PNA)