COVID-19: DOT8 Springs Stranded Tourists, Total Assisted Travelers Now at 11,000

TACLOBAN CITY—Cebu Pacific sweeper flight airlifted at least (57) international tourists stranded due to flight cancellations in connection with the national state of health emergency measures.

The sweeper flight was made possible by the DOT8 Action Team’s exhaustive efforts to contact stranded tourists within 16 hours from the scheduled flight, transporting them safely from various points in the region in coordination with the CAAP, and provision of DOT8 MalasaKITS and boarding passes.

Stranded tourists receives MalasaKIT bag from a DOT8 A-Team member prior to boarding Cebu Pacific sweeper flight for distraught international tourists.

Following health and security protocols at the departure terminal, Cebu Pacific Flight DG6511 took off DZR Airport at 8:25AM yesterday, 25 March to spring the foreign guests to their respective transit points for their journey back to their home countries.

Lady tourist wears the iconic salakot at the DZR Airport in Tacloban City early Wednesday prior to departure on a Cebu Pacific sweeper flight arranged by DOT Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat for stranded travelers.
Lady tourist wears the iconic salakot at the DZR Airport in Tacloban City early Wednesday prior to departure on a Cebu Pacific sweeper flight arranged by DOT Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat for stranded travelers.

On March 21, 85 missionaries were brought home safely to their respective destinations via a chartered flight from Tacloban City.

DOT8 staffer assists a traveler with pre-departure health and security protocol prior to boarding Cebu Pacific sweeper flight for stranded tourists.
DOT8 staffer assists a traveler with pre-departure health and security protocol prior to boarding Cebu Pacific sweeper flight for stranded tourists.

As of 27 March, the Department of tourism has assisted 11, 863 travelers while 1,466 remains stranded mostly coming from Region 7, 700; Region 11, 218; and Region 5 with 177.

STATEMENT OF TOURISM SECRETARY BERNADETTE ROMULO-PUYAT

Given the recent unfortunate news that the AFP Chief of Staff has tested positive for COVID-19, I will be undergoing self-quarantine as I was exposed to him in a meeting last March 20.

Since I do not show any signs nor symptoms, I will not be having myself tested in order to save the limited supply of testing kits to people who truly need it.

By staying at home, I will not put anyone I come in contact with at risk. The safety of those around me is my priority.

But this will not stop me from doing my job. We, in the Department of Tourism (DOT), have been working remotely from each other since the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. As of March 26, the DOT has assisted 11,863 stranded travelers all over the country.

Our locations will not beset us from fulfilling our duties to serve our tourists and stakeholders in this time of need.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Tacloban City? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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