DOTr Clarifies Temporary Suspension Usage of PHL Airports for International Passengers

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarifies the reason behind the suspension of all international passenger flights to and from the Philippines from May 3 to 9. The decision was made by the National Task Force Against CoviD-19 in which the DOTr accedes to.

Below is the statement from DOTr clarifying the suspension of the use of airports in the Philippines for inbound international flights:
We understand that said request, which we reiterate is a temporary measure, was made by the NTF to DOTr in order to allow the current system to ramp up its capacity to properly process the growing number of Filipino repatriates going back to the Philippines daily.
Currently, the government has already accommodated around 20,000 repatriates who are quarantined in Metro Manila, with an arrival rate of 2,000 per day. This measure to temporarily suspend international passenger arrivals will enable the government to decongest the processing of this number to a more manageable level, given the need to observe strict health protocols, and the fact that existing quarantine facilities are at full capacity.
The move is deemed necessary in order to ensure that our country will not experience a second wave of Covid-19 pandemic due to the increasing number of international passenger arrivals. It should be noted that most of our repatriated citizens are coming from countries which experienced significant Covid-19 outbreak.
It will also allow the government’s front line agencies that are tasked to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to upgrade their testing and screening protocols, and expand the existing quarantine and treatment facilities and ensure a more comfortable quarantine arrangement for our repatriated kababayans.
Accordingly, the DOTr assures NTF Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez of its full cooperation, and agreement in the adoption of this TEMPORARY SUSPENSION of usage of all international airports for international inbound passenger flights, effective 0800 of 03 May 2020 until 09 May 2020.
The DOTr remains firmly committed to uphold the SAFETY and WELFARE of the Filipino People. This is paramount, and we are one with the rest of our government in exhausting all efforts to fight Covid-19.

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