DOT picks up 1,049 stranded domestic travelers, assists their return home

Published May 3, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Sunday that stranded domestic travelers picked up by seven sweeper flights on May 1 and 2 arrived safely at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and have been brought home to various areas in Metro Manila.

Amid the imposition of quarantine restrictions, the DOT arranged the sweeper flights to assist domestic travelers stranded in various destinations in the country.

“A total of 1,049 distressed travelers reached Manila in succeeding schedules,” the DOT said in a statement.

The agency said 180 tourists from Puerto Princesa, 60 from El Nido, and 144 from Boracay arrived in Manila last Friday.

On Saturday, 136 tourists from Region 13 flew in from Butuan, including visitors stranded in Siargao, Surigao City, and Cagayan de Oro City; while 150 tourists who returned from Region 6 arrived from Iloilo City, including travelers from Bacolod, Antique, and Capiz, and from Region 7, while 177 arrived from Mactan-Cebu, the DOT said.

A total of 202 tourists stranded in the Davao and Soccsksargen regions boarded the Davao-Manila sweeper flight, it added.

Seven buses were chartered by DOT-National Capital Region to bring home “those residing in Metro Manila areas.”

“Complementing the chartered buses were three buses from the Philippine Coast Guard and five e-jeepneys from the Department of Transportation,” the DOT said.

The DOT was given approval by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) last April 28 “to charter and fund sweeper flights for qualified stranded local tourists from other regions to the National Capital Region.”

“We are thankful for the opportunity to respond alongside the front-liners who persevere to attend to the needs of the public under these difficult circumstances. The DOT prioritizes the safety and security of stranded international and local tourists as they return home,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.