By: Elena Grace Flores
Media practitioners at the 888 News Forum, Marco Polo Hotel hailed Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive Advisor, Mactan-Cebu International Airport. This is for his contribution to the proper management of the facility. Then just days after, his team is challenged by the degree of coronavirus measures that they have to implement to unwilling 78 travelers from Taiwan upon their arrival in Cebu. That surely shock Taipei. It now considers “retaliatory measures” if Manila would not immediately lift its inclusion in the travel ban, said Angelito Banayo, chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan. There’s also a threat that the no-visa policy for Filipinos in Taiwan for tourism can be revoked.
YouTube video by Elena Grace Flores
Mactan Cebu Airport Hailed for Effective Management
Andrew Harrison explains Mactan International Airport’s effective measures in improving Mactan Airport in Cebu.
Degree of Commotion at the Airport
According to Mactan-Cebu International Airport General Manager, Steve Dicdican both Filipinos and foreigner passengers were furious after they were subjected to a quarantine arrangement. They claimed that they were not told in advance. The travelers only accepted their fate after knowing the official order, which is imposed on passengers from mainland China and its special administrative regions hit by COVID-19. Dicdican is certain that additional security forces are needed as they expect more resistance from travelers coming from Taiwan.
Part of China?
Taiwan is an independent state but the Philippines considers it part of China under the one-China policy. The Bureau of Immigration recently ordered the Taiwan travel ban. It follows the same procedures as in the previously announced restriction for China and its Special Administrative Regions, Hong Kong and Macau. Filipinos and foreigners with permanent resident visas may be allowed entry but will be turned over to the Bureau of Quarantine for assessment, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente clarified.
Challenge of the Unknown
Harrison said that although influenza and other diseases caused by viruses have more deaths than coronavirus, the challenge is in dealing with the unknown. Therefore, personal hygiene from washing hands to temperature checks must not be overlooked. Let alone the following of the government’s quarantine rule despite causing chaos at the airport.
“The technology exists, let’s use it,” the former senator insisted.
Positioned as the Gateway of the Visayas
Aside from having direct international flights particularly from Narita to Cebu, Mactan International airport’s degree of management can’t be compromised. They positioned Cebu as the gateway to the Visayas. So, it must adhere to international standards from safety to facility maintenance. Harrison also added that although the tourism industry is badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak, it’s just a matter of time that the travel paranoia will die down because no viruses can withstand the hot weather in Cebu. Perhaps, international travelers would favor coming to Cebu alternatively to going to the banned countries because of the unfortunate outbreak. The more than 80,0000 domestic travelers are also a plus.