WITH the recent acceptance of repatriation flights outside the country, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio allayed fears of potential surge of Covid-19 cases in the city.
Duterte-Carpio confirmed in a radio interview on Monday, July 12, 2021, the arrival of a direct flight carrying stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The mayor said two international flights carrying 154 OFWs from Dhaka, Bangladesh and another carrying 350 others from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates will arrive in the city this week.
She assured the public that repatriated passengers will undergo a “bubble” arrival process and strict health protocols will be applied for passengers.
"They will be wrapped in a bubble, they will be wrapped in a bubble gikan sa (from the) airport padulong sa (towards their) isolation hotel, didto na buhaton ang kinahanglan pag-process sa ila (wherein they will undergo the required process for them),” Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
The mayor emphasized the importance of the “bubble” process and strengthened health protocol for all arriving passengers.
She added that the isolation of the OFWs in the hotels is paid by the passengers. This also helps hotels earn income during the pandemic and boost the city’s economy.
As of now, the mayor said only international repatriation flights are accepted in Davao City.
Meanwhile, in a separate radio interview, City Tourism Operations Office and Airport Monitoring Head Generose Tecson said that as of July 9, 2021, a total of 1,079 rooms in 20 hotel establishments have been prepared and inspected by the Department of Tourism as quarantine hotels.
“We prioritized multi-use or quarantine facilities, the Department of Tourism made the inspection and there are protocols followed to qualify,” Tecson said.
Tecson added that a separate identification of areas exclusive for isolation of travelers who tested positive is ongoing.
Travelers who will arrive in the city shall be quarantined for 10 days and will be swabbed on the seventh day.
On June 16, a total of 99 repatriated Filipino seafarers from Fiji arrived at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao Airport).
Tecson said the recent arrival of the repatriated OFWs served as a welcome development for the hotel industry in the city.
"Ready naman tayo (We are all ready) because we have all the [processes] in place at airports, and even with our hotels. This is a welcome development because at least 'yung (our) economic activity nila medyo gagana na (will gradually recover)," the official said.