REP. LAWRENCE “LAW” H. FORTUN
Agusan del Norte 1st District
Member for the Minority – Justice, Human Rights, and 14 other Committees
A lawyer by profession | Mobile number 09177292437
MINDANAOAN SOLON BATS FOR LIMITED AIRPORT, AIRLINE OPERATIONS
[But not at airports of Manila, Clark, Sangley, Cebu, or Davao which are under ECQ]
As Member of the House Committee on Mindanao Affairs, I appeal to the IATF and DOTr consider allowing airports and the airlines to resume flights under strict quarantine measures for cargo, medical evacuations, relief operations, and mercy flights for stranded individuals.
For mercy flights, returning residents can be received with strict quarantine protocols upon arrival before they are allowed to return to their families. Proper coordination and talks with LGU officials must be done to assure them that their constituents are not in danger of infection because of the entry of people coming from areas with high cases of Covid-19 infection.
Noting that Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao remain under ECQ, it will be prudent for IATF and DOTR to look into possibly scaling up regional airports like the Laguindingan Airport in Northern Mindanao to handle more flights, so the country’s economy can be gradually revived from slumber.
Up north, the airports in Laoag, Tuguegarao, and Cauayan could serve Regions 1, 2, and 3. For Eastern Visayas, the airports of Tacloban and Guiuan. For Mindanao, the airports at Laguindingan, Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, General Santos City and Butuan City could perhaps be reopened for limited operations at least.
For all the airports, there really must be strict quarantine and screening protocols. We do not want a resurgence of COVID-19.
These calibrated moves would allow the airline sector to keep its workers, bring back those personnel they let go, and prepare the industry for resumption of full operations after enhanced community quarantine measures are lifted.
Limited airline operations would also somehow give hope to the tourism industries nationwide, including the airport concessionaires, the pasalubong outlets, the MSME sector, and the underground economy. (END)