(UPDATED) Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) Central Office approved additional flights for Davao beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
Duterte-Carpio bared on Friday, June 26, the Caap-approved additional flights between Manila and Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport). These flights are operated by Cebu Pacific, AirAsia and Philippine Airlines.
Cebu Pacific’s Manila-Davao-Manila flight is scheduled on Monday, AirAisia’s on Wednesday, and Philippine Airlines’ on Thursday.
Caap also approved the Clark-Davao-Clark flight of Philippine Airlines.
Philippines Airlines’ Iloilo-Davao-Iloilo, which was supposed to be scheduled on a Friday was not approved for unknown reasons, the mayor said.
Duterte-Carpio said the City Government endorsed the additional flights based on their assessment of the resumption of the domestic flights since June 8 in relation to the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the city.
She said they saw greater demand in these flights, that they requested Caap to gradually allow more flights coming in and out of the city.
Currently, Philippine Airlines operates the Manila-Davao-Manila on Monday and Cebu-Davao-Cebu on Tuesday. Cebu Pacific operates the Cebu-Davao-Cebu flight on Tuesday and its Manila-Davao-Manila flight is scheduled on Wednesday. AirAsia Philippines operates the most number of flights with three -- Cebu-Davao-Cebu on Thursday; Manila-Davao-Manila on Friday; and Clark-Davao-Clark on Saturday.
Arriving passengers will undergo a thorough health screening before being allowed to go to their final destination.
Duterte-Carpio said they will bring back the use of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits but it will be done on selected passengers. Earlier, the mayor scrapped the use of the RDT kits saying that it is not able to determine if the passenger has Sars-CoV-2, which caused Covid-19.
Passengers who will fail in the RDT will be sent to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) for another validation test.
Meanwhile, the mayor reminded arriving passengers to strictly observe the 14-day quarantine.
"Mag-remind ta sa atong kaigsuunang Dabawenyo nga kung duna mo'y kauban sa balay, member of your household, or silingan nga bag-ong abot gikan sa ubang lugar, make sure nga di mo muduol sa ila, and i-make sure nga mag comply sila sa 14-day quarantine (I am reminding Dabawenyos who have household members or neighbors who arrived from other areas, make sure you don't go near them. Also, monitor their compliance with the 14-day quarantine)," Duterte-Carpio said.
On Monday, the City Government will also start the free voluntary reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for commercial flight passengers who arrived in Davao City from June 8 until the present.
The mayor said the voluntary testing for flight passengers is another strategy of the City Government in tracing individuals who might have acquired the Covid-19 virus.