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Passengers of domestic flights stranded at NAIA ask for help


Passengers of domestic flights, who walked all the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, appealed for help after they were stranded due to late notices of flight cancellations. 

In a report by Bam Alegre on GMA News' Unang Balita on Wednesday, the stranded passengers were seen sitting under a tree and with no food.

They were stuck in Metro Manila when President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila and later, the entire Luzon, on lockdown in mid-March until the end of May to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Elbert Naparate, a household helper who hails from Cagayan de Oro, lamented that their flight has been already canceled twice. 

“June 1 po ang schedule. Na-reset ng June 3, tapos na-cancel na naman. Ang sa amin lang, sana tulungan nila kami, kasi kami na lang ang andito eh,” Naparte said.

This was echoed by Usnain Barnam who has been very anxious with their flight schedule still uncertain. 

“Gustong-gusto na namin makauwi sa aming probinsiya, Sir. Nahihirapan na kami rito. 'Di namin alam kung kelan ang flight. Laging naka-cancel,” Barnam added.

Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific and AirAsia announced they were resuming flights this week after the government eased quarantine restrictions.

However, AirAsia announced it would resume flights on June 5 instead of June 3 as earlier announced.

Cebu Pacific earlier announced it would resume flights on June 2, but announced on Tuesday it had to cancel its Manila-General Santos flights scheduled that day. The airline said it was not able to get the necessary approvals for the flight. Cebu Pacific then issued an advisory regarding its June 3 flights.

PAL also issued an advisory on Facebook regarding its June flights, explaining that some domestic flights scheduled for June 3 to 7 were canceled "due to fine-tuning of local government entry restrictions and requirements."

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed domestic flights to resume in areas under general community quarantine, according to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Tuesday.

However, flights should have the approval from concerned local government units, he said.

The Philippines has logged 18,997 COVID-19 cases with 4,063 recoveries and 966 deaths. —Llanesca T. Panti/KG, GMA News