BUTUAN CITY, July 10 (PIA) — The Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) has approved the resumption of limited commercial flights to and from Caraga Region, starting with Bancasi Airport in Butuan City on 08 July 2020.
During its 9th Teleconference Meeting held last July 3, 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 be limited to operate at 50% of their seating capacity, which may be increased to 75 percent, depending on the COVID-19 developments in the region.
Passengers are required to present their COVID-19 test results, which shall not be older than five days prior to their travel date. The said tests may either be rapid antibody test (RAT) or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) prior to boarding the aircraft and will be shouldered by the passengers. Likewise, passengers who will not be able to present a negative RAT or RT-PCR negative result shall not be allowed to board the airplane. The cost of testing may be added to the passenger’s travel fare, should the airline companies themselves consider facilitating the passenger’s testing prior to boarding the aircraft.
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 light of the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 from inbound local stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), the RTF-COCS also pushed for a more regulated entry of LSIs into the region by requiring all those arriving to be tested at their point of origin and be quarantined for 14 days at their point of destination.
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.
During the same meeting, the request of the city government of Butuan to implement modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in 33 identified barangays from July 4-15 was also concurred, per the recommendation of the Regional Validation and Screening Committee (RSVC). (Amethyst Joy A. Galos, NEDA Caraga/DMNR/PIA-Caraga)