Chaos gripped Dumaguete airport as CebPac plane barred from landing | Inquirer News

Chaos gripped Dumaguete airport as CebPac plane barred from landing

/ 10:00 PM March 15, 2020

DUMAGUETE CITY — Confusion gripped the Sibulan-Dumaguete airport on Sunday morning as a Cebu Pacific plane was denied landing and sent back to Cebu.

The 78-seater ATR 72-600 was supposed to be the last plane to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, before the ban on incoming flights to Cebu from Dumaguete was implemented.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia earlier ordered incoming passengers from Clark International Airport in Pampanga, Legazpi City Airport in Albay, Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental, and Dumaguete City would no longer be allowed since these were considered entry points of areas where there were COVID-19 cases.


Supreme Court Associate Justice Edgardo delos Santos and his wife were among the passengers of the Cebu Pacific flight.


He said their plane left Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, about 10 a.m. for the 30-minute flight to the Sibulan-Dumaguete airport in Dumaguete.

“A few minutes after the announcement to prepare for arrival, the pilot announced that the plane would fly back to Mactan airport because there was no response from the tower giving them the authority to land and take off again for Mactan,” Delos Santos said in a text message to the Inquirer.

He said an old woman, who was apparently sick and aided by a relative and a Cebu Pacific employee, cried upon hearing the announcement.

Upon landing at MCIA, Delos Santos said he was told that Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo denied having issued any directive disallowing aircraft from landing at the Sibulan airport.

“CAAP Dumaguete and CAAP Cebu are now finger pointing. Who is at fault? The plane was full,” the justice said.

Charo Logarta Lagamon, corporate communications director of Cebu Pacific, said the aircraft had no choice but to return to MCIA because it was not allowed to land.


“We are not sure on whose authority, but the bottom line is that we were not allowed to land,” Lagamon said.

Delos Santos, his wife, and a few other passengers tried to get home to Negros Oriental by riding a bus to Santander town, some 140 km south of Cebu, where they would catch a ferry across the Tañon Strait, which separates the islands of Cebu and Negros.

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