PASIG CITY – Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. lauded the leadership of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for the opening of Philippine Airlines’ Cotabato City to Tawi-Tawi route.

The route’s inaugural flight with 180 passengers on board was held on June 9. It is the first inter-regional route to be launched in the BARMM.

“We would like to congratulate the BARMM leadership led by Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, BARMM Minister of Transportation Dickson Hermoso, the Provincial Government of Tawi-tawi under the able leadership of Governor Yshmael “Mang” Sali, and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) for making this first inter-BARMM air route possible,” Galvez said.

“Through your hard-work and collaboration with the management of Philippine Airlines, you have opened more economic opportunities for the region, particularly for the tourism sector,” he added.

The peace adviser noted that PAL’s Cotabato-Tawi-Tawi flight is among the dividends of peace, and a testament that the Bangsamoro region’s economy continues to gain momentum.

“It worth noting that the BARMM’s economy grew by 7.5 percent in 2021, which is really amazing considering that the country was still grappling with the effects of the pandemic,” Galvez said.

“By this alone, we are confident in saying that the region is now gearing up for the big time, as it opens its doors wide open for local and foreign investors who are interested to do business in the area,” he added.

In a press release, MOTC BARMM said the PAL Airbus 320 jet took off at 7:52 AM on Thursday. Ebrahim, who was on board the aircraft, thanked the passengers and wished them a safe journey.

“Pinapasalamatan po natin kayong lahat na unang pasahero ng inaugural flight na ito ng Philippine Airlines. Hopefully, itong flight na ito will already be increased to daily later on,” Murad said through the plane’s PA system.

“Thank you for patronizing this flight. We hope that this flight will settle the long-time challenge of connectivity of Tawi-Tawi to the mainland and other parts of the country,” he added.

Upon landing in Sanga-sanga Airport in Bongao, Tawi-tawi, the PAL Airbus A320 was greeted with a water cannon salute in celebration of the historic flight.

The Cotabato-Tawi-Tawi-Cotabato PAL flight will operate bi-weekly every Mondays and Thursdays. ###

[PHOTO SOURCE: Bangsamoro Government]