PAL announces plans to partially resume flights in May

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2020   •   2653

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Airlines announced on Tuesday (April 7) its plans of partial resumption of selected international and domestic flights in the coming weeks.

The country’s flag carrier clarified, however, that the plans may change depending on how the situation develops in relation to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak which includes the duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), travel bans and restrictions imposed by other countries and the overall public health and safety situation in each of the cities and countries that PAL operates in.

PAL also said it will not operate international flights from April 15 to 30 although it is considering making ad hoc special flights for stranded passengers and essential cargoes across the country and within the Asia-Pacific region.

READ: PAL mounts special flights from Manila to London for British nationals

Meanwhile, PAL said it is setting plans to resume a number of weekly flights for the month of May to several destinations including Japan, the USA, Canada, Guam, Australia, the U.K., Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau, Saudi Arabia, and Korea.

Once the details are finalized, the company assured to publish a list of flights in an updated advisory.

On the other hand, PAL maintained that all flights to the following destinations remain canceled for the month of May: Auckland, New York JFK, Dubai, Doha, Perth, Melbourne, Port Moresby, and Sapporo.

As for domestic flights, operations from April 15 to May 31 will depend on the changes with community quarantine restrictions imposed against domestic air travel, PAL said.

We will await the final government decisions, and will announce the list of domestic flights to be operated once finalized,” the airline company said.

“However, in any case, we shall not be operating any flights to and from Clark International Airport for the month of April,” it added.

For guidelines and special reminders, affected passengers are advised to check on PAL official website at www.philippineairlines.com.

Metro Manila to likely transition to GCQ after May 31 —Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2020

Metro Manila has a possibility to transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) after May 31, according to the Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is a chance that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions might ease in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) held a meeting on Wednesday (May 27) to determine if the MECQ should continue after May 31.

“Chances are we will, in fact, be transitioning to GCQ in Metro Manila, according to the chief implementer and the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] Secretary,” Roque said in a statement.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) is also recommending to the IATF to put the National Capital Region under GCQ.

Once Metro Manila transitioned to GCQ, Roque said public transportation will resume operations but will have limited capacity.

He also appealed to the private and public sectors to finalize their work scheme where 50% will resume in worksites and 50% will work from home.

“We are appealing to both private and public sectors to ensure at least 50-50 workforce,” he said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

ECQ areas might downgrade to GCQ by June —DILG

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 26, 2020

Areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) might be put under General Community Quarantine by June, according to the Deparment of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday (May 26), DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said they are looking into implementin lockdowns in specific areas with high coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

“Kahit iyan ay naka-GCQ, pwede pa rin mag-declare ang mga local chief executive ng critical areas. Ito iyong mga lugar na mayroong 20 or plus na cases, (Even if [the area] is under GCQ, local chief executives can still declare critical areas. These are areas with 20 or plus cases)” he said.

There will also be lesser number of checkpoints by June, the DILG secretary added. From checkpoints situated in every boundaries of cities, it will be limited to specific areas.

“Mayroon tayong tinatawag na modified checkpoints para hindi na masyadong magbuhol-buhol ang trapiko, (We have something that we call modified checkpoints to ease the traffic)” Año said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

President Duterte goes home to Davao as Metro Manila eases lockdown restrictions

Maris Federez   •   May 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte returned to his hometown of Davao City on Saturday.

This, as Metro Manila eases from the COVID-19 lockdown after it was shifted into a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

It is the first time that the President has returned home since he ordered the implementation of a lockdown in March which suspended transportation and restricted the public’s movement in Luzon.

Presidential Security Group chief Col. Jesus Durante III, in an interview, also confirmed that President Duterte took the flight at past midnight, arriving in Davao City early Saturday.

“He is in Davao after more than 2 months of not being able to see his family,” Durante said.

Durante assured that the chief executive will join the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) meeting next week. — /mbmf

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