Villanueva urges govt to aid Cebu-bound OFWs, travelers as flight diversions to Manila from Cebu spark disruptions
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the COVID-19 pandemic should “mobilize all resources to ease the pain” of the thousands of Cebu-bound OFWs and other travelers whose flights from abroad will be diverted to Manila upon the government’s order.
The call was made by Senator Joel Villanueva who said “the massive inconvenience this will cause must be addressed by the government.”
Whatever expenses that the OFWs will have to incur during “this travel disruption not of their own making” must be shouldered by the government, said Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee.
“Marami pong OFWs na walang dalang pera lalo na po yung mga natanggal sa trabaho dahil sa pandemya. Said na said na dahil sa tagal nang pagka-stranded sa abroad. Saan po sila dudukot ng panggastos para sa rebooking?” he said.
“Kung utang na lang ang pasalubong, kawawa naman kung dadagdagan mo pa ang kanilang bayarin,” Villanueva said.
“Kung utang na lang ang pasalubong, kawawa naman kung dadagdagan mo pa ang kanilang bayarin."
Malacañang has ordered all international flights bound for the Mactan Cebu International Airport to be redirected to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from May 29 to June 5, 2021.
“Although it will only last for a week, it will surely set off a domino effect of inconveniences to be felt by all parties, from passengers to carriers, to government agencies who must be ready with room accommodations and other contingencies," Villanueva said.
Although the latest data from Mactan Cebu International Airport show that about 13 to 15 flights will be affected by the redirection, “this will still give added burden to the government’s reception system,” Villanueva explained.
“Kung sabihin po natin na tinatayang 4,000 na pasahero ang apektado nitong polisiya, 'di hamak po na malaking bilang ito," he said, adding that the number of passengers could be ferried in 250 vans.
He said for affected OFWs bound for the Visayas and Mindanao, the government should charter "reliever" flights instead.