MCIAA reiterates they are ‘preparing for the worse’; evacuation centers are still plans
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines – The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), the government-owned and controlled corporation co-managing the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), has reiterated that plans to put up evacuation centers are part of their contingency measures in case the 2019 novel coronavirus crisis will escalate.
This developed after the local government unit of Medellin town in northern Cebu expressed opposition to the planned use of a property located in their municipality as future holding areas for returning Filipinos from China who will undergo the 14-day quarantine.
“This (evacuation centers) is only important when and if the situation escalates. Right now, I’d like to stress that our current facilities are sufficient to meet the challenge. But we cannot hope for the best, and not prepare for the worst,” Lawyer Steve Dicdican, MCIA general manager, told reporters in a press conference held at the Incident Management Center of MCIA’s Terminal 2 on February 6.
Dicdican also said they were just identifying possible evacuation centers in the event that present quarantine facilities at the airport can no longer accommodate Filipinos coming in from China and other countries affected by the 2019-nCoV.
“We’re not saying that these evacuation centers would be used now. We’re just looking at the situation where it escalates, and if our quarantine centers (would not be) enough. It’s just that we are identifying what are the buildings we can possibly use if this (2019-nCoV) escalates,” he added.
Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo Jr., in a statement published on their official Facebook page, expressed objection to the plans of MCIAA, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH -7) and Office of Civil Defense in Central Visayas (OCD- 7), to use the Regional Evacuation Center in his town.
READ MORE: Medellin opposes being tagged as ‘holding area’ amid 2019-nCoV threat
The property is owned and managed by OCD -7, and is located at Barangay Poblacion, Medellin.
Meanwhile, Dicdican also announced during today’s press conference that their agency was given a go signal by its board to enter into an agreement with DPWH – 7 and OCD – 7 to construct an evacuation center within the airport complex.
Dicdican cited MCIAA’s decision to declare a state of emergency in the whole MCIA last Monday, February 3, as a legal basis in doing so.
“The situation (state of emergency), also authorized by the board (of MCIAA), to enter into an arrangement or agreement with the DPWH and OCD to build an evacuation center inside the airport complex,” he said.
The evacuation center being planned inside MCIA can accommodate 180 individuals in one time, to be constructed within four to five months, and with funds coming from DPWH – 7.
As of February 5, figures from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that there are 16 patients under investigation (PUIs) confined in various hospitals in Central Visayas for showing symptoms of 2019-nCoV.
The three Chinese patients who tested positive of the novel coronavirus, and becoming the country’s first confirmed cases, went through MCIA upon arrival.
READ EARLIER STORY PUBLISHED: MCIA under state of emergency; holding areas readied; no-contact measure implemented/ ###
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.