Duterte orders redirection of MCIA-bound int’l flights to NAIA amid Cebu’s deviation in swab protocol

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | May 27,2021 - 08:41 PM

FILE PHOTO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at Villamor Air Base in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines, February 28, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

CEBU CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all international flights bound for the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to be redirected to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from 12 a.m. of May 29 to 11:59 p.m. of June 5, 2021.

This was amid the refusal of local government units (LGUs) in Cebu to conform to all the testing and quarantine policies of the national Interagency Task Force (IATF).

In his recent order, the President has instructed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Manila Airport Authority to ensure the smooth diversion of flights.

Aside from the redirection of flights, Duterte has also instructed all ports to implement the existing protocols for inbound international travelers regardless of any policy made by the LGUs.

“Heads of departments shall ensure that all offices and instrumentalities under or attached to their departments abide by this directive, while the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall enforce compliance with respect to LGUs,” said the order.

This means that the order of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia deviating from the national testing and quarantine policies for Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) will no longer be honored by the ports in Cebu.

It can be remembered that the Provincial Capitol, in agreement with the highly urbanized cities in Cebu, issued a memorandum to allow ROFs to quarantine at home for seven days if they prove negative to a swab test conducted upon arrival at the airport.

This deviates from the national policy of mandatory 10 to 14-day quarantine for all arriving ROFs regardless of test results.

Arriving ROFs, especially residents of Cebu, will be swabbed upon arrival at the airport and quarantined in a Department of Health (DOH) accredited facility.

If proven negative, the ROF will quarantine at home and will be re-swabbed in seven days.

If proven positive to the virus in either swabbing, the ROF will follow the typical quarantine protocols.

Governor Garcia recently said that she has received reports that she may be facing insubordination charges for implementing a different protocol from the national policy.

She said in recent statements that her decision was in the best interest of Cebu residents coming home from abroad.

She also reiterated that Cebu is not defying the IATF protocol and its policy is in no way a disrespect to the President.

CDN Digital has tried to get the governor’s comments on this new development but she is yet to respond to our queries.  | with a report from Inquirer.net


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TAGS: Gov. Gwen Garcia, IATF policy, international flights, MCIA, NAIA, President Rodrigo Duterte

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