TACLOBAN CITY—Businessmen and the riding public in Eastern Visayas are hopeful that the government will heed their appeal to “reconsider and desist” the reported implementation of full rerouting of all Tacloban-Manila flights to Clark International Airport.
“We had a very productive meeting with Sec. Mike Diño and the staff of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas. Diño spoke with (Transportation Secretary Arthur) Tugade and also relayed some good news in our meeting,” said Ginggay Hontiveros, RTR Foundation/Mission Tacloban mission director and member of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce on Thursday on the social media.
Hontiveros said “any rerouting to decongest must have a win-win solution and if implemented should only affect up to 50 percent of flights, with passengers being offered a choice to fly via Manila or Clark.”
She stressed that “Tacloban should not be singled out but that all other Visayas routes should also be part of the decongestion solution. Diño emphasized that no implementation would be done without proper
consultation with Eastern Visayas stakeholders.”
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Eastern Visayas earlier passed a resolution urging the agency to reconsider its plan, saying “the region’s economy is still now at a critical
turnaround and recovery phase after super typhoon Yolanda aggravated the region’s economic situation.”
The resolution pointed out “the anticipated negative impact that (the rerouting) will have on the region’s economy and specifically its Tourism industry.”
The three airlines serving Tacloban are Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Air Asia.
Jude Acidre, leader of a political group Tinngog Sinirangan (Voice of Eastern Visayas) said “I hope that the administration will reconsider the plan to transfer Tacloban-Manila flights from NAIA to Clark until the needed train/freeway infrastructure is in place, an integration plan based on a dual airport system is implemented, international flights are rationalized to other international airports and not while Eastern Visayas is still trying to rebuild its local economy,” he said online.
Over social media, concerned netizens pushed for the hashtag #NoToClarkForTaclobanFlights as a form of protest over the rerouting issue.