Diversion of Cebu-bound flights to NAIA extended until June 12

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2021 02:17 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2021 03:41 PM

Cebu to follow IATF rules 

Diversion of Cebu-bound flights to NAIA extended until June 12 1
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) arrive at the Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City on June 3, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The diversion to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport of international flights bound for Cebu will be extended, Malacañang said on Tuesday, as authorities threshed out the province's COVID-19 protocols that differ from national government directives. 

The Palace redirected Cebu flights to NAIA from May 29 to June 5. 

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea's office has released a memo extending the flight diversion “until 23:59 of June 12,” said Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque. 

“Ito po’y para maayos ‘yong pag-i-implement ng IATF (inter-agency task force on COVID-19) arrival protocol sa Cebu,” he said in a press briefing. 

(This is to fix the implementation of the IATF arrival protocol in Cebu.) 

Cebu tests passengers upon arrival in the airport. The IATF requires this screening on the 7th day of travelers' quarantine.

“Upon resumption of flights to Mactan-Cebu International’s Airport, the travel and testing protocols approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious diseases will be fully and seamlessly implemented,” Roque said, reading from the memo. 

President Rodrigo Duterte and Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia met last week to thresh out this difference. 

A temporary shortage of quarantine beds forced the local government to implement this protocol. Local officials also believe this would be more effective in detecting COVID-19 cases, said Roque last week, quoting Garcia.

Duterte had tasked the health department to critique Cebu's protocols.  

Medialdea's memo last week ordered local government units to enforce national protocols "regardless of any specific protocols that may be issued by LGUs." 

Video courtesy of RTVM