The complex operation has been preceded by a previous extensive operation in which the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines had been working with intensity to facilitate the concentration of all passengers in Manila, the point from which the plane that is expected to arrive in Spain tomorrow .
The direct efforts of the Embassy with the Philippine Ministry of Transport and the Coast Guard, facilitated the provision of official ships to Spain for the night transfer of a total of 38 travelers from the islands of Siquijor, Dumaguete and Bohol to Cebu. To this last island, the arrival of 14 Spaniards who were on the island of Malpascua was facilitated, along with two Italians, who were joined by four other Spaniards from the island of Bantayan.
In this way, it was possible to organize a flight from Cebu to Manila with 130 passengers on board; to which must be added another flight from Siargao to Puerto Princesa to end in Manila with another 61 passengers; These are in addition to the 26 arriving from other points on Luzon Island that went directly to the Manila International Airport.
Despite the severe restrictions in force in the country, the Spanish Embassy has obtained the relevant authorizations so that both the flights that have been picking up passengers between the islands and the plane that takes them to Madrid could operate in a very restricted airspace.
Individualized telephone and email follow-up has been carried out on each of the passengers until they reach the concentration point, whose accessibility has been guaranteed through a nominative document issued by the Spanish Consulate, a copy of which has been sent to each office. provincial of the Philippine Ministry of Tourism. The Embassy has also spoken with Ministers, governors and mayors of each of the islands where there were passengers to guarantee their mobility.
Before boarding the plane at Manila International Airport, masks were distributed for each passenger carried by the Iberia plane's crew, and bars and restaurants run by Spanish in Manila offered a snack to passengers.
With this operation, which has been carried out through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation has already facilitated the return of some 600 Spaniards since the beginning of the quarantine in the Philippines, on March 15 . A total of 94 Spanish tourists have expressed their willingness to stay in the Philippines for different reasons, while some 1,200 European citizens are still trying to leave the country.