THE Davao City Government has reiterated the ban on conducting welcome or send-off events at the city's airports, seaports, and bus terminals, as the number of active Covid-19 cases have started to increase in the first week of 2022.

City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) Head Generose Tecson said in a report from the Davao City Information Office that there were instances in previous weeks when welcome greeters and send-off parties were present at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport or Davao International Airport (DIA).

"We need to remind, especially out-of-town people, that there is a ban on welcome and send-off at the Davao International Airport," Tecson said.

Davao City Public Safety Security Command Center (PSSCC) Head Angel Sumagaysay, for his part, said welcome greeters and send-off groups are no longer seen at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (Dcott).

"Wala naman sa land. Kung makita mo dyan sa Dcott, pasahero lang talaga. Ang airport lang talaga, binawal na greeters. Nagpalabas din ng guidelines ang Caap (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) natin," Sumagaysay said.

(There is no such incident insofar as land transportation [is concerned]. At Dcott, you will only see passengers. It's at the airport that greeters are prohibited. Even Caap-Davao issued guidelines on this.)

He also said only a driver is allowed to send and drop off a passenger at DIA.

If a passenger is a person with a disability or a senior citizen, he or she may have one companion aside from the driver.

There were a few attempts by some groups to send off or welcome passengers, but Sumagaysay said the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel at the airport entrance have been instructed that only passengers and a driver are allowed inside vehicles. Otherwise, those who are neither passengers nor the driver inside the vehicle will have to alight at the airport's entrance gate.

"Na-announce naman gud na. Unta dili testingan ang security protocol. Respetuhon nato (That has already been announced. I hope the public will not test our security protocol. We must respect it)," Sumagaysay said, adding that only a driver can send off a passenger at DIA.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced on February 10, 2020, a permanent ban on greeters or send-off groups in transportation hubs effective February 11, 2020.

"It is not only because of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) but for reasons of safety and security. Only employees, workers, drivers, and passengers are allowed in these places," Duterte-Carpio said.

She said passengers can be dropped off and picked up by private or public transport drivers only. All welcome greetings and send-offs shall be made in their respective residences. (With reports from CIO)