File photo of Puerto Princesa International Airport Departure Area.

Inbound flights to Puerto Princesa City remain suspended for travelers coming from Metro  Manila from April 8-19, except for certain individuals authorized by the national government and returning overseas workers who have secured necessary permits.

The city government was granted conditional concurrence by the regional Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to suspend inbound flights, still citing the rising number of new COVID-19 cases both in Puerto Princesa City and in the National Capital Region. A resolution issued Thursday by the regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) stated that while inbound air and sea travel will remain suspended, select individuals can still enter the city.

“Resolved further, the travel suspension shall not include essential travel of APORs (authorized persons outside residence), as may be authorized by the national government…and that repatriated OFWs who have been issued a clearance by Department of Health (DOH) or BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine) shall be granted unimpeded entry to the final LGU of destination,” the resolution stated.

City health officials stated early this week that testing and isolation capacity in Puerto Princesa are nearing their limit fast, and have even requested assistance from the regional DOH to determine if the new set of infections in the city are of a new COVID-19 variant. Three more deaths were recorded on Wednesday, all of whom were positive in their confirmatory tests. City Incident Management Team (IMT) chief Dr. Dean Palanca stated that he suspects that a new virant has entered the city because of the new kinds of symptoms being manifested by COVID-positive patients.