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Send-off, welcome parties at airport still not allowed 

The city government is still requiring inbound air passengers to present negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results upon arrival at Davao International Airport. BING GONZALES

THE LOCAL government has reiterated the ban on welcome and send-off groups in the city’s airports, seaports, and bus terminals as the number of COVID-19 active cases has started to increase.

City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson said, “We need to remind, especially out-of-town people, that there is a ban on welcome and send-off at the Davao International Airport.”

Tecson said there were instances last week when welcome greeters and send-off parties were present “until we tightened security again.” 

Mayor Sara Duterte announced a permanent ban on greeters or send-off groups in transportation hubs effective Feb. 11, 2020.

The mayor said, “It is not only because of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) but for reasons of safety and security. Only employees, workers, drivers, and passengers are allowed in these places.” 

She said passengers can be dropped off and picked up by private or public transport drivers only. All welcome greetings and send-offs shall be made in their respective residences.

For his part, City Public Safety Security Command Center (PSSCC) head Angel Sumagaysay said welcome greeters and send-off groups are no longer seen at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT).

Wala naman sa land. Kung makita mo dyan sa DCOTT, pasahero lang talaga. Ang airport lang talaga, binawal na greeters. Nagpalabas din ng guidelines ang CAAP natin (There is no such incident insofar as land transportation [is concerned]. At DCOTT, you will only see passengers. It’s at the airport that greeters are prohibited. Even CAAP Davao issued guidelines on this),” Sumagaysay said.

He also said that only a driver is allowed to send and drop off a passenger at DIA. If a passenger is a person with a disability or a senior citizen, he or she may have one companion aside from the driver.

The PSSCC chief said, “In fact, ginahimo nato sa airport dunay driver parking area. Iikot sasakyan para pik-apon ang pasahero. Nag-iwas ta og gatherings diha sa departure and arrival area para iwas takdanay (In fact, at the airport, we have a drivers’ parking area. Drivers will just pick up passengers. We are prohibiting gatherings at the departure and arrival areas to prevent COVID-19 transmission).”

There were few attempts by some groups to send off or welcome passengers but Sumagaysay said the Philippine National Police personnel at the DIA entrance have been instructed that only passengers and a driver should be inside vehicles. Otherwise, those who are neither passengers nor drivers inside the vehicle will have to alight at the airport’s entrance gate.

Na-announce naman gud na. Unta dili testingan ang security protocol. Respetuhon nato (That has already been announced. I hope the public will not test our security protocol. We must respect it,” Sumagaysay said, adding that only a driver can send off a passenger at DIA. 



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