CEBU CITY – There are no changes in the services at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) following an order from Malacañang to divert international flights to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) until June 12, an airport official on Thursday said.
Lawyer Glenn Napuli, MCIA Authority (MCIAA) acting general manager, said international flights are still diverted to NAIA in Pasay City despite some officials’ expression of support to the executive order (EO) of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia implementing swab upon arrival for the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and returning Filipino overseas (ROF).
“We are focused on international cargo servicing now that accepting international flights is still disallowed. MCIA is operational as we have outbound flights to serve,” Napuli told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on June 5 issued a memorandum extending the flight diversion from MCIA to NAIA to ensure proper testing and quarantine protocols for OFWs and ROFs.
Napuli said the MCIA served the last international flights on June 5, the day the second order to divert flights to NAIA was issued.
He said they received the order on June 7 only.
Napuli’s remarks came after mounting calls to the national government to reconsider its order diverting flights from the Cebu airport to NAIA.
The flight diversion aimed to ensure that the anti-coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) measures imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on arriving OFWs and ROFs would be implemented in Cebu after June 13.
Among the officials who expressed support to Garcia’s EO was Senate President Vicente Sotto III who said quarantine for Cebuanos returning from abroad is no longer necessary as they can go home if their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result will be negative within 24 hours from swabbing.
Sotto said the OFWs and ROFs are burdened as they need to spend their time and hard-earned money in hotels and accredited quarantine facilities for a minimum of 10 days from arrival and swab tests done only seven days from arrival. (PNA)