CDO, Lanao Sur frontliners heave sigh of relief as Metro goes MECQ

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Aug) – Frontliners here and in Lanao del Sur heave a collective sigh of relief after airline companies suspended all their outgoing flights from Metro Manila following the reimposition of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Arriving passengers at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental. MindaNews file photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Bangsamoro Parliament member and Lanao del Sur COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force spokesperson Zia Alonto Adiong said the decision to reimpose MECQ in Manila and subsequent suspension of flights were a welcome respite for their medical personnel already reeling from the influx of returning residents.

“We will use this time to allow our frontliners to rest, recalibrate our response and re-assess our data,” Adiong said.

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said he expected the arrival of returning residents and overseas workers to go down from 600 a day to 300.

Moreno said he is confident enough to offer the city isolation units of hotels to nearby local governments who have no facilities.

He said despite the suspension of flights from Manila, sweeper flights and mercy ships would still bring in returning residents and workers from Manila.

The three major airline companies – Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia – have announced the suspension of commercial flights from Manila starting Tuesday, August 4, until August 18.

However, other domestic flights outside Manila – like Clark, Cebu, and Davao – would still be operational.

Lanao del Sur COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force focal person Shiela Ganda said they have already pulled out their standby teams stationed in Laguindingan Airport and in the cities of Cotabato, Pagadian, Iligan and Ozamiz.

“The last flight of returning residents arrived in Laguindingan Tuesday morning. We expect no more arrivals in the next 14 days,” Ganda said.

Ganda said the teams would return to their stations on August 18. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)