#NoToClarkForTaclobanFlights: Government’s plan to transfer flights draws protests online

Tacloban Airport Flights
Passengers boarding on one of the domestic flight carriers at Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport or simply called Tacloban Airport (Photo: Victorino Q. Abrugar/ Reporter.PH)

The government’s alleged plan to transfer Tacloban flights to Clark International Airport in Pampanga has sparked outrage across Facebook and Twitter especially from Taclobanons and online users from Eastern Visayas.

In a breaking news posted by GMA News Breaki twitter page, it was mentioned that Secretary Arthur “Art” Planta Tugade of the Department of Transportation, confirmed that the country’s three major carriers agreed that all Tacloban-bound flights should be transferred to Pampanga.

According to the tweet, Tugade added that the decision has already been approved by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) although the exact date of implementation is still unknown.

The news was also announced live over national television by Sec. Tugade during a Senate hearing on granting emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

One of the tasks of CAB is to promote and develop the economic aspect of the country’s air transportation. However, netizens were not pleased with the news and even stressed that such move will greatly affect the economy as well as the tourism in the region.

The hashtag, #‎Notoclarkfortaclobanflights began circulating online, encouraging all carrier patrons from Eastern Visayas and nearby regions to reject the proposal.

One Facebook user expressed her disapproval through a post and encouraged others to do the same.

Another one suggested a possible consequence if such plan will be implemented.

One netizen reminded that Tacloban and nearby towns are still recovering from Yolanda and such decision would limit rehabilitation efforts.

They also stressed how this decision might negatively affect the tourism industry.

Some Taclobanons in the business and tourism sector changed their Facebook cover photo to protest the government’s plan.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) – Eastern Visayas has already drafted a resolution urging the Department of Transportation to reconsider and desist the full implementation of rerouting Tacloban-Manila flights to Clark International Airport. PCCI – Eastern Visayas is a business organization advocating for the recovery of business and its local economy after the devastation of the recent supertyphoon Yolanda

Although nothing has been finalized yet and no official announcement was made regarding this decision, people especially those from the region are determined to set a bold protest against this seemingly unwise and careless move.

As of this moment, we have not yet received additional updates and comments from the concerned government office.

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