Annabelle Sancho has already been vaccinated by Pfizer in Riyadh. Still, due to the travel ban and the limit on the number of people who can enter the NAIA, she has not been able to book a flight home to the Philippines for several months.
She is also not eligible for the OWWA repatriation program.
Only 2,000 are allowed to enter the NAIA per day.
The seafarers, who were also stranded in the UAE for several months, were lucky to be included in the repatriation.
Many more are stranded abroad, so even the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is also requesting to increase the number of people allowed to enter the Philippines.
But according to the One Stop Shop at NAIA, which is the lead agency in processing those who return to the Philippines, the quarantine facilities are already full, so it is not yet time to increase the number of those allowed to return to the country.
OFWs, MARINA, and airlines complain about passenger arrival cap at NAIA
“Talagang nag-iingat tayo nang husto… Konting delay lang magkakaroon na kami agad ng congestion… Sa mga kababayan na gusto umuwi, alamin niyo ito para alam niyo pagdadaanan ninyo,” said Raul del Rosario, head, One Stop Shop at NAIA.
“We are in dire need for an increase. The industry is suffering… From last month may airline na umayaw na, na tumigil na. Habang pinapatagal natin ito lalong nahihirapan ang carriers… Kung pagbibigyan natin yan malaking bagay kung mapapaigsi natin ang quarantine sa ating pasahero, if we do that there will be more rooms and we can increase our passengers cap. If we can put our levels to 5,000 malaking tulong sa stranded abroad,” said Edgar Allan Nepomuceno, president of the Airline Operators’ Council.