The Philippine government has relented in its push to transfer Manila-Tacloban flights from Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l to Clark following heavy resistance from the Eastern Visayas regional government and businesses.

As part of its plans to decongest Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l, government earlier this year petitioned local carriers such as AirAsia Philippines (PQ, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l), Cebu Pacific Air (5J, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l), and Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) to shift some of their domestic operations to Clark. Tacloban was chosen as a trial run for the programme but encountered heavy resistance from local Tacloban-based businesses and government from the onset. They argued the switch would have severe repercussions for the town and region's economies all of which are heavily dependent on tourism.

As a result, this past week, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), faced with the heavy backlash, announced it had now formally abandoned the Tacloban move.

“While the suggestion of Tacloban is a move forward, the government must not actually dictate where the airlines reduce capacity of transfer the same to Clark," The Leyte Samar Daily News said quoting a CAB letter. "What’s more, there should be other routes in the suggestion box, to prevent singling out of any provincial airport.”