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Guv OKs opening of major airports in Surigao Norte

November 23, 2020 - Monday 7:11 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Gov. Francisco T. Matugas. (Photo grab from SDN Provincial Information Center)

BUTUAN CITY – All major airports in Surigao del Norte will be opened for commercial flights starting Dec. 1 this year.

This after Gov. Francisco T. Matugas issued an executive order on Monday that aims to balance the province's economic recovery and preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Matugas said the move is also in line with the National Action Plan (NAP) approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recently, which aims "to respond to the health crisis by integrating the whole gamut of government’s resources, manpower, and expertise”.

In his directive, Matugas recognized the contributions of the tourism industry to the overall economic gains of the province and emphasized the importance of the opening of the airports to boost tourism in the area that has been affected by the pandemic.

“The tourism industry in the province has been robust in contributing more to the province’s economic development. Airport and seaport facilities must be available and ready to serve incoming domestic and foreign tourists,” the governor said.

Based on the directive, airports in the town of Del Carmen in Siargao Island and in Surigao City would resume operations for domestic flights starting Dec. 1, subject to certain conditions and health protocols.

For instance, visitors and returning residents would be required to present a negative result of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) within 48 hours prior to the date of arrival. They must also present valid identification cards and the Surigao del Norte e-HEALTH Pass that can be generated from a link provided on the provincial government's website.

Authorized Persons Outside Residents or APORs would be required to present travel or work orders from their respective companies indicating the purpose of their travel, the confirmed booking of accommodation, and itinerary of travel.

Tourists would also be required to confirmed accommodation booking for at least five days and a roundtrip ticket.

All passengers will again be required to undergo rapid testing seven days from the date of their RT-PCR, at their own cost.

Meanwhile, the directive also limits airlines to one roundtrip flight per week for each route. Alexander Lopez