Repat flight transports three Dutch stranded tourists

07 May 2020


LAGUINDINGAN, MISAMIS ORIENTAL- Three Dutch nationals were ferried to Mactan, Cebu from Laguindingan International Airport in a chartered repatriation flight organized by the Dutch Embassy and coordinated by the Department of Tourism- Region 10.

The Dutch nationals, Ruben Cohls, Symon Shipper, and Aileen Shipper, were part of the few remaining Dutch citizens who were left stranded in Northern Mindanao following the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The Air Island Tours Folker 5-seater plane carrying the three stranded tourists left Laguindingan for Mactan, Cebu at 9:00 in the morning. The tourists will then board their onward flight from there to Tokyo, Japan tomorrow, May 8, and will continue to their homebound flight to Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The three Dutch passengers were subjected to the COVID-19 travel safety protocol of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) before they were allowed to board the flight. These requirements were their foreign passport and a Health Certificate stating that they do not bear symptoms related to COVID-19 and are fit to travel signed by the City or Municipal Health Officer.

Symon and Aileen Shipper were vacationing in Aileen’s hometown in Gingoog City when the domestic flights were suspended by the IATF because of theCOVID-19 pandemic. They have since been stranded and were able to make it to the sweeper flight today through the efforts of the City Government of Gingoog led by Mayor Eric Cañiosa and City Tourism Officer Auddie Ocampo. Ruben Cols on the other hand was spending his six-month vacation in Cagayan de Oro city when the COVID-19 broke out, disabling him to travel home. “We are glad that the Dutch Embassy has taken care of their stranded nationals and we are just very happy to assist,” said Department of Tourism – Region 10 Director Marie Elaine S. Unchuan.

As of today, DOT-10 has coordinated eight sweeper and repatriation flight operations and has repatriated a total of 480 tourists.