DOTr easing cap on international arrivals

Published September 27, 2021, 5:26 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

With so many Filipinos still stranded abroad and wanting to return this December, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is considering to allow more international arrivals, Secretary Arthur Tugade announced in today’s ( Sept. 27) virtual media forum on the State of Philippine Transportation.

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The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) increased the passenger cap at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from 1,500 a day to 2,000 four months ago but it’s not enough, local airlines maintained.

However, increasing the airports’ capacities for international arrivals would also mean increasing the gateways or airports where they can land, not just NAIA, Cebu and Clark.

The move likewise calls for increasing available quarantine facilities, Tugade pointed out.

Already, the DOTr is exploring the use of the General Santos and the Bohol-Panglao international airports to boost the number of arrivals, he noted.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) plans to use the General Santos International Airport for international arrivals, in coordination with the Local Government Unit ( LGU) of the city.

The flag carrier is also flying passengers from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia into Panglao International Airport.

The cap on international arrivals forced airlines to cancel countless flights, losing billions of pesos in revenues.

The 2,000 international arrivals cap hinders the return of stranded overseas Filipinos. “Ideally, there should be no cap,” according to Cebu Pacific (CEB) executives.

The airlines are also in discussion with the government about reducing the number of quarantine days for international passengers.

 
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