The Local airlines are imploring the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to make all local government units (LGUs) have only a single health protocol policy to facilitate easier domestic travel.
Roberto Co Lim, Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) executive director, said a uniform policy could boost domestic air travel and help homegrown airlines recover from big losses.
“There is no conflict in the intent from point to point, but it must be cleared that one policy alone, maybe, could work well so healthy people with no COVID would find no hassle in any purpose of their travel,” Lim said.
He said varying health protocols implemented by LGUs regarding travels in local airlines cause confusion among travelers and hinder the airline's operations, forcing some carriers to cut their fleets.
For instance, Lim cited how some LGUs require arriving passengers to stay in a quarantine facility even if they hold medical certificates and travel passes from their place of origin, which had properly cleared them of COVID-19 infection.
The government must make travel easier for people without compromising their health and safety from COVID-19, the ACAP officer said.
“I think with the long period of time that the COVID-19 came to us, we can say that we already have knowledge on how to move on and open our economy safely and avoid the virus,” Lim said.
Emphasizing that due to the impact of the pandemic, the domestic airline industry has lost about P60 billion.
Lim added that the ACAP remains intact and its members intend to provide more service destinations as well as increase the frequency of their flights. And in doing so would be one step forward to getting the economy back on track.
“Our group, if given a chance, would like to have more air terminals all around the country for the fast delivery of goods and passengers,” he said.