THREE days after aviation authorities cancelled domestic flights, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) resumed domestic commercial flights at Terminal 1 on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
Airport officials clarified that domestic passengers arriving in Cebu will be thoroughly checked for documentary requirements, including a medical certificate to ensure they do not have the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The MCIA advised passengers to coordinate with their respective airlines and continuously monitor the status of their flights.
“Please ensure that all travel documents are complete before proceeding to the airport,” the MCIA said.
It also said international commercial flights will resume this month as soon as the airport meets mandatory health screening requirements.
The airport on Saturday accommodated three flights from AirAsia Philippines: Z2 763/764 Manila to Cebu, Z2 775/776 Manila to Cebu and Z2 901/902 Clark to Cebu.
On its website, AirAsia informed passengers of travel documents they needed before they could enter the airport at their point of entry.
AirAsia stated other guidelines for domestic travelers, such as securing a travel authority or pass which is required by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to travel to provinces or regions across the country that are on general community quarantine.
Guests can apply for a travel authority or pass at the nearest police station. A medical certificate from the Municipal or City Health Office is needed to apply for the pass. A barangay certification is necessary as an endorsement to the Municipal or City Health Office to conduct a medical examination.
The travel pass will not be required for travel related to work or business.
Other travel documents required by local government units (LGUs) may be applicable.
Passengers traveling on domestic routes are advised to check local travel guidelines, the airline said.
Mary Anne Dimabayao, MCIA spokesperson, urged passengers to comply with requirements since these are needed for the “new normal” protocol in flying.
“You, as a passenger, should know that these are challenging times. So all of those requirements like the travel authority, the travel pass, aside from your ticket, identification cards and medical certificate that you are Covid-19 negative, you should prepare that. So when airport authorities ask for them, you will be able to present them and have a seamless flight,” she said.
In Cebu Province, under Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s Executive Order (EO) 17-B, Cebuanos stranded in LGUs outside Cebu for their return home should secure these requirements:
* a negative Covid-19 result, either thru a polymerase chain reaction test or rapid test, or a medical certificate signed by the municipal or city health officer of the LGU where the passenger is stranded;
* a letter of confirmation from the local chief executive (LCE) of the receiving LGU indicating the LCE’s consent to accept the returning person;
* a travel authority from the JTV CV (Joint Task Force Corona Virus) Shield provided that the letter of confirmation from the LCE of the receiving LGU has already been secured. The LCE’s letter of confirmation must be attached to the travel authority.
Returning persons will only be allowed entry into the receiving LGU provided that he or she is a bona fide resident of the receiving LGU and he or she has a letter of confirmation from the LCE of the receiving LGU.
Any document presented by the returning person must not contain false information and health protocols prescribed by the receiving LGU must be observed.
Overseas Filipino workers, under EO 17-C, should undergo the required five-day isolation.
Resumption of in’tl flights
As to MCIA’s Covid-19 laboratory, Dimabayao said they are targeting for the testing laboratory to be functional on Tuesday, June 9, so by Wednesday, June 10, they can resume international operations.
In an earlier statement, the MCIA Authority and the GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. announced that the MCIA will be the first airport in the country to be equipped with a dedicated Covid-19 testing laboratory with state-of-the-art facilities that can process about 900 swab samples per day rising to 2,000 per day for the benefit of arriving OFWs, seafarers and locally stranded individuals.
Eventually the process will be extended to outbound international passengers requiring a Covid-19 test certificate for entry to other countries.
In an earlier interview, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said arriving passengers must shoulder the cost of their own Covid-19 test if they cannot present a medical certificate from their place of origin indicating they are free from Covid-19. They will also pay for their hotel accommodation while waiting for the test results.
Private individuals may choose their own accommodation and the City will provide a list of hotels where they can stay, including the rates, Chan told SunStar Cebu.
Other airlines like Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific will resume domestic flights at MCIA.
PAL will mount its Manila to Cebu and vice versa flight PR 1845/1846 daily, effective Monday, June 8.
Cebu Pacific also plans to mount the following flights between Manila and Cebu on June 6 and 7.
From Manila to Cebu, 5J 577 leaves the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at 10:50 a.m. Cebu to Manila flight 5J 578 leaves the MCIA at 1:35 pm. Another Manila to Cebu flight 5J 583 leaves at 5:20 p.m. A Cebu to Manila flight (5J 584) at 8 p.m. is also planned. (JOB)