Guv airs concern over flight resumption

By Dolly Yasa


BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson aired concerns over the proposal of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to resume domestic flights after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila expires on May 15, 2020.

The ECQ was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Lacson asked as to how local government units can control the expected influx of arrivals.

“That’s a major, major concern,” Lacson said.

The governor said there is an urgent need to plan-out how to receive a regular flight, as they would have no control anymore.

He added they will be monitoring whatever guidelines the national inter-agency task force will be issuing on the matter.

Both Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific have outlined their protocols and plans to resume operations after May 15.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said social distancing measures will be observed in cabin seating options and their planes are using high-efficiency particulate air filters to purify cabin air.

Cebu Pacific said it ramped up cleaning and disinfection procedures on all its facilities and equipment.

Earlier this week, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade forwarded the proposal to resume flights to areas downgraded to a general community quarantine to jumpstart airline operations.



Meanwhile, Lacson told Negrenses to use their common sense when they shift to the new normal.

Lacson issued the statement in a presscon where he revealed that the two seafarers who are positive for COVID-19 were brought to the Provincial Healing Center in EB Magalona town.

The two patients were part of a group of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were repatriated last April 28, 2020 and underwent a 14-day quarantine in a hotel.

Lacson said that COVID-19 “is here to stay, we will live our lives around COVID-19” until a vaccine is discovered.

But he said that a vaccine will not eradicate COVID -19 “but it can protect us.”

“What we are doing now will be the new normal like wearing of face masks, carrying of alcohol, social distancing, among others. Common sense lang,”

The governor said he personally wants a 15-day extension of the General Community Quarantine after May 15, 2020.

But he said he will wait for the guidelines from the national Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19.

As far as the returning OFWs are concern, Lacson said “we have no recourse but to accept them because that is what the President wants.”

“As long as they coordinate with us and we are the ones who manage this.”