MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has once again cut down the number of arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as a consequence of the Philippine Red Cross’ decision to stop its swab testing service to returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Thousands of repatriated OFWs remain in quarantine facilities in Metro Manila, desperately waiting for the results of their swab tests.
One of them is Harlene Gariando who used to work as a household worker in Singapore but after a conflict with her employer, she decided to return home on October 18.
It has been four days since she arrived but until today, she is not certain as to when she will be able to get her swab test result.
“Madali na po sana ang resulta para kami pong mga naghihintay dito ay makauwi na rin sa aming mga mahal sa buhay [We hope the result would come out soon so we could go home to our families],” she said.
“Sana malaman po kaagad ng maaga kasi para hindi rin po nagaalala yung mga mahal namin sa buhay rin po [The results should be made available soon so our families will not worry],” she added.
MIAA General Manager Eddie Monreal said they have to minimize the number of arrivals once again to make sure that the government’s One-Stop-Shop will be able to accommodate all returning OFWs.
“Ang challenge po ay nasa One Stop Shop being manned by Coast Guard and pagdating nung mga kababayan natin limitado po ang kapasidad ngayon sa pagte-test [The challenge now is with the One-Stop-Shop being manned by the Coast Guard because the swab testing at present is limited as compared to the arriving OFWs],” Monreal said.
“As far as the airport is concern, kami po sa paliparan wala po kaming nakikitang problema except for those reduction po na maapektuhan ang pagparating ng ating mga kababayan [As far as the airport is concerned, we don’t have any problem except for the arriving OFWs who will be affected by the reduction of flights],” he added.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), meanwhile, is trying to replicate the process of the PRC when it comes to swab testing, one is to allow online registration prior to the OFWs return flight.
“Kasi iyong E-CIF di ba bago pa pumunta dito sa Pilipinas, three days before nirerequire na natin noon in coordination with the Red Cross na magpirma na nung CIF [The process with E-CIF, three days before they arrive in the Philippines they are required to sign a CIF with Red Cross],” explained Commodore Armand Balilo, PCG’s Spokesperson.
“Para pagdating dito dere-derecho ang pila. Pupunta lang sa counter ng Coast Guard tapos isa-swab [So when they arrive, they just fall in line. They just go straight to the Coast Guard’s counter and there they will be swabbed],” he added.
At present, the PCG has partnered with 12 government hospitals to where the specimens of OFW are forwarded.
The agency also employed more IT personnel to speed up the encoding of data.
PCG explained that OFWs may request to speed up the processing of their swab tests. They may either pay P3,5000 to the PRC or they may prefer to have their swab test taken in private hospitals but they have to pay as much as P10,000 for it.
The PCG is hoping that the PRC will resume its service the soonest especially with the expected surge of returning OFWs by the end of the year. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) advises passengers coming from the Philippines of the additional requirements that some foreign destinations require.
Starting Tuesday (July 21), the following international destinations will ask incoming passengers from the Philippines to present a COVID-19 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) negative-test result/ certification:
The MIAA reminds passengers that only certifications issued by the respective airline’s accredited testing institutions will be accepted before travelers are allowed to board flights.
The agency advises all affected passengers to get in touch with their respective airline carriers to get the details on the implementation of the new regulation.
Passengers without the required negative PCR test certification may not be allowed to check-in for their flights even if they have confirmed bookings.
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 32 airports in the country have received clearance from their respective local government units (LGUs) to resume commercial flight operations as of Sunday (July 19).
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) reminds travelers, however, some airports, while allowed to open for commercial flights, are still subject to different documentary and passenger restrictions set by the LGUs.
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