DOT assists over 10,000 stranded foreign travelers amid enhanced community quarantine

Published March 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Richa Noriega

The Department of Tourism (DOT) response team assisted over 10,000 stranded foreign travelers amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

In a statement released last Tuesday, March 24, DOT said that out of 10,300 tourists assisted, 7,915 were transferred via sweeper flights from various destinations to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Clark International Airport. This effort is in collaboration with Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and Air Swift.

“The Department of Tourism has been doing everything within its resources to ease the congestion in the different regions by facilitating the movement of foreign tourists stranded in the different islands of the country,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The department also added that there were five sweeper flights that carried the stranded tourists out of Siargao to Clark Airport last Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22. At least four sweeper flights will fly out of Boracay Island over the weekend, with two more scheduled on Thursday, March 26.

Additional sweeper flights will fly out of Iloilo, Tacloban, and Cagayan de Oro next Tuesday, March 31, while three sweeper flights are set to leave from Davao and Puerto Princesa next Thursday, April 2.

Meanwhile, DOT said that regional offices are facilitating the transport of the travelers by land in Luzon and by sea with inter-island vessels, such as the use of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) boats to sail tourists from the islands of Bohol, Siguijor, and Negros to Cebu. DOT added that there were arranged shuttle services and hotel accommodations provided to some of the stranded tourists.

The agency also acknowledged the efforts of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Clark International Airport Authority (CIAA), LIPAD (operator of Clark International Airport), Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Department of National Defense (DND), Philippine Air Force (PAF), and the local government units for the assistance they have provided.

READ MORE: Entire Luzon under quarantine