City mayor Lucilo Bayron during the flag raising ceremony at the City Hall on Monday. (Screencapped from City Mayor's Office - Puerto Princesa / Facebook)

Experiencing simple travel regulations firsthand in Manila, city mayor Lucilo Bayron now wants to scrap unnecessary and redundant measures to make it easier to fly to Puerto Princesa.

Bayron, who arrived from Metro Manila on Friday, said time is being wasted for specific regulations that stifle and annoy tourists.

“Pagdating namin dito, ang daming proseso. Nagsasayang tayo ng oras. Pagdating namin doon parang ordinary lang. Pagdating, baba ka ng eroplano. Sakay ka, alis ka. Wala ng kung ano-ano pa,” Bayron said in the city’s flagraising ceremony Monday morning.

He highlighted, for example, the verification of vaccination cards, which is required even before boarding, and the marking of individuals’ arrival dates.

He also said that, while the number of active COVID-19 cases in the city is steadily decreasing, the local government must focus on “recovery” instead of just “response.”

“Pagdating namin, hinahanap pa ang vaccination card, eh, doon pa lang sa eroplano hinahanap din. Redundant, paulit ulit nakaka-istorbo lang,” Bayron added.

“Babalansehin mo ang health concern at economy. Aalis na tayo sa response, dapat nasa recovery na tayo. I-review natin lahat ng ‘yan at alisin na ‘yong mga hindi talaga kailangan,” he said.

As of Sunday evening, there are only 36 active COVID-19 cases in the city, including antigen and RT-PCR positive individuals.

The city’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) already announced that beginning March 2, Puerto Princesa will be available to all arriving passengers, regardless of their category (returning residents, APOR, non-residents) or vaccination status. However, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals traveling from Alert Level 2 locations must still take antigen testing with negative results one day before their departure date.

Upon arrival at the PPC international airport, passengers will receive an on-site health assessment and certification.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.