Sen. Joel Villanueva welcomed the easing of restrictions on returning Filipinos from foreign countries after authorities rescinded a guideline earlier this week disrupting plans of those eager to come home.

Villanueva lamented the ordeal of Filipino passengers who received notices from their airlines about a cap imposed on arrivals in Manila. 

The restriction on returning overseas Filipinos “who are not OFWs” issued on March 16 has since been rescinded by the Inter Agency Task Force in a new memo released morning of March 19.

“We’re glad that the IATF listened to the points we raised at Thursday’s labor hearing,”  he said.

“This is a victory for Pinoys because all our kababayans regardless of their reason for going abroad can now return home, no questions asked,” Villanueva said in a statement.

Villanueva appealed to policymakers to be mindful of the repercussions of guidelines it issues, particularly the cap on returning Filipinos.

“At this time of the pandemic, our people are cautious about spending their hard-earned money.”

He said travel disruptions such as this affect household budget because of changes, not to mention the cost of rebooking flights.

In an interview over CNN Philippines, Villanueva described the incident as an example of the government’s “flip-flopping” policies on the pandemic response that sowed confusion.

“While we are glad that our authorities already fixed the issue, the fact remains that the flipflopping of our policies would continue to hurt us, especially our people and our economy,” Villanueva said. “We cannot let this go on and on.”