In this post, I’m going to list the requirements needed before flying from General Santos City Airport to Manila (NAIA). I will also share my experience of acquiring those documents from my town in South Cotabato. Also, I will share the precautionary measures at the airport as well as during the flight against coronavirus.
Flying after eight long months in lockdown and never-ending quarantine due to the pandemic was a refreshing experience for me. Finally, I was heading to a different city after what felt like a very long time. I felt free!
Travel Document Requirements
First are the requirements. The following are the main requirements I was asked by the security guards at the airport entrance. Aside from the temperature check and logging in, they specifically ask me to show them the following documents.
- Valid ID
- Flight Itinerary
- Barangay Clearance
- Medical Certificate
- Travel Authority
How I Got My Requirements
If I’m being truthful, just looking at the list made me dizzy already. As any requirements go, you will need money, time, and effort to obtain these documents. They wouldn’t just fly by themselves straight to your hands, you need to get up, go to public offices, and be patient because there would be a lot of waiting time involved too.
For me to get my Barangay Clearance from our town, I had to get a Purok Clearance from our Barangay Chairman first. Thereafter, I paid the cedula of around 200 PHP before the Barangay Clearance was released.
For my medical certificate, I had to present my barangay clearance with a statement that I am not a PUM (Person Under Monitoring) or PUI (Person Under Investigation of the Virus). There should also be a referral from the Sub-unit health center from our Purok. At the Sub-unit Health Center, they took my vital signs, weight, did a short interview, and then eventually gave me a form to bring to the Municipal Health Center.
Part of the requirements for the release of the medical certificate is laboratory results particularly the Complete Blood Count (CBC), Urinalysis, Stool Exam, and Chest X-Ray. The validity of these tests is at least 14 days.
In my case, once I’ve got all my printed results, I brought everything together with the printed itinerary of my flight to our Municipal Health Center. The next step is to pay the fee which was about 70 PHP. After that, at the releasing window, they printed my medical certificate signed by the Rural Health Physician.
Just on the window next to where the medical certificate was released was for the processing of the travel authority. Instead of me going to the police station which was a bit challenging to commute to, they already had a police officer assigned to do the task at the Health Center. It made processing convenient and easy.
The police officer at that time asked for a photocopy of my documents especially the barangay and medical certificate. He also asked me the reason for traveling, my mode of transportation from the town to the airport. Because my uncle and aunt would be driving me to the airport in their private car, I had to get their car model and plate number which was noted on my Travel Authority.
Flying During A Pandemic
There were many changes in terms of flight operations at Gensan airport as an effect of the coronavirus this year. Aside from the requirements which are the most important documents you need to show before entering the airport, everyone is expected to follow social distancing policies. Wearing a face mask and face shield are also required as well as during the entire duration of the flight.
Food and drinks
There were no open food shops inside the airport. Therefore, I would recommend that you bring your food or snacks, most importantly your water. There was no meal distribution during the flight anymore. Luckily, the flight from Gensan to Manila in only two hours. I was only able to eat after my arrival at NAIA.
Overall, I felt lucky and happy, I was able to fly this time. I had this flight booked since April for my IOM TB test but due to the lockdown, it was canceled. I booked with Cebupacific Airlines for this flight. For more details about their requirements from specific cities/regions, you can go to their website.
Keep safe, everyone!