Task force allows resumption of commercial flights to Caraga

Published July 14, 2020, 8:53 AM

by Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – The regional task force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) has approved the resumption of limited commercial flights to and from Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga Region, starting with the Bancasi National Airport in Butuan City last July 8.

The task force allowed the said resumption of flights by virtue of the Resolution No.  49, S. 2020, entitled “A Resolution Allowing the Resumption of Commercial Air Flights at the Bancasi Airport in Butuan City, Subject to Specific Conditions”, provided that the following precautionary measures are put in place.

Resumption of commercial airline operations shall be allowed on July 8 for Cebu Pacific and July 13 for Philippine Airlines. Both airline companies shall each be allowed to operate one flight, four times in a week only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Airline operators shall also be limited to operate at 50 percent of their seating capacity, which may be increased to 75 percent, depending on the COVID-19 developments in the region.

Passengers will also be required to present their COVID-19 test results, which shall not be older than five days prior to their travel date. The tests may either be rapid antibody test (RAT) or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) prior to boarding the aircraft. 

Passengers who will not be able to present a negative RAT or RT-PCR negative result shall not be allowed to board the airplane. 

Airline companies are also required to secure the personal details of the passengers relating to the address of their final destinations and their contact numbers.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Caraga region, all inbound local stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) are now required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days at their point of destination.

The RTF-COCS pushed for a more regulated entry of LSIs and ROFs, following the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases in the region.

To date, Caraga region has a total of 190 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases.

Passed by the RTF-COCS, Resolution No. 50, S. 2020, entitled “A Resolution Requiring All Arriving Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) Into the Region to be Tested at Their Point of Origin and be Quarantined for Fourteen (14) Days at their Point of Destination”, intends to lower or prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19 while also facilitating the entry of returning residents into the region.

The request of the city government of Butuan to implement modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in 33 identified barangays from July 4 to July 15 was also approved by the RTF-COCS, based on the recommendation of the Regional Validation and Screening Committee (RSVC).