Davao City seeks more flights
DAVAO CITY –– Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has sought the approval of the national government for additional flights between the city and several local destinations.
Duterte told local government-run Davao City Disaster Radio that she had brought the issue before the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Flights to and from the city resumed on June 8, with only eight flights from Monday to Saturday.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) serves one flight to Manila, another to Cebu, and still another to Clark.
Air Asia serves two flights: one for Cebu, one for Manila, and another for Clark.
Cebu Pacific serves a flight each to Manila and Cebu.
Duterte said they proposed five additional flights: three for Manila, each to be served by PAL, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia; one for Iloilo to be served by PAL, and another for Clark, also by PAL.
Duterte assured that the proposal also considered the situation of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the city, not just the demand for flights from travelers.
She even warned that the increase in the influx of people could jack up the COVID-19 cases, although the city is well prepared to handle the situation.
For residents, who return to the city after being stranded in various parts of the country, the local government requires 14-day isolation; at home for those without symptoms, or at its quarantine facilities for those displaying any symptom of the disease.
Upon arrival, they undergo health screening by personnel of the City Health Office.
To bolster case-finding, the city government will offer starting on June 29 free testing for those arriving at the Davao International Airport. It will use the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction process.
Duterte said they have readied 1,000 kits for the free testing, which cover those who flew into the city beginning June 8.
The City Information Office said 5,825 persons have arrived in the city as of June 20, either by land, sea, or air travel.
Of these, 20 have tested positive for COVID-19, said city health officer Josephine Villafuerte.
As demand for travel began to increase, city tourism officer Regina Rose Tecson warned the public against an emerging racket of selling tickets for flights by unlicensed travel agents.
Tecson said travelers must ensure that they buy tickets only from airline companies.
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