Cebu province planning financial help for returning overseas Filipinos diverted to Manila 

THE CEBU provincial government is looking at how it can assist returning residents whose international flights were diverted to Manila due to a national government order and will now have to book an extra domestic flight to Cebu.

Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia said this was discussed during a meeting Friday with both government and private sector representatives.

“We had initially discussed this with Dr. (Christina) Giango (Provincial Health Office head) and Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama if we could possibly extend assistance to the ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos) who need to shell out extra funds for their ticket coming from Manila to Cebu,” Ms. Garcia said in a statement.

She said they need to come up with a contingency plan in case the diversion of Cebu-bound international flights is extended again.

The governor said they will also talk to airlines “to come up with an arrangement for the airfares.”

The order to divert flights, which arose from an impasse between the national and provincial governments over quarantine protocols for ROFs, was supposed to be in effect from May 29 to June 5, then extended to June 12.

As of Sunday, June 13, government and airport authorities could not be immediately reached for comment as to whether international flights were already landing again at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

An executive order from the governor and an ordinance passed by the provincial board requires returning overseas Filipino workers and other residents to stay in a hotel for a period of only two to three days after being swabbed for coronavirus testing upon arrival.

Under the national policy, all arriving international passengers must undergo a 10-day quarantine and swabbing on the seventh day from arrival. — MSJ

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