Transport of stranded NegOr residents in Cebu moved to another date
DUMAGUETE CITY, April 16 (PIA) — The transport of more than 400 residents of Negros Oriental who were stranded in Samboan, Cebu was pushed to another date within the week.
This was disclosed by Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force-Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF – EID) Transportation Committee Chair Dante Uymatiao in a media interview after his meeting with law enforcement, security, and health committee representatives recently at the Visionaire’s Lounge.
Earlier this week, Gov. Roel Degamo announced that the 438 individuals from Negros Oriental who were stranded in nearby Samboan town in Cebu due to border closure are now allowed to enter the province again after completing their 14-day quarantine there.
Stranded residents were supposed to return to Negros Oriental on April 15, 2020.
However, Uymatiao explained they had to defer the transport of these stranded residents to give more time for the Department of Health (DOH) regional office in Cebu to process the necessary clearances they need to travel.
“It so happened that the regional health office will have to make sure everything is in order including the certification from the Department of Health that they are properly quarantined for 14 days. Wala pa gyud sila. Dili pa pwede. Dili gyud nila maaapas. (It can’t be done on the earlier date set. Health staff can’t cover all in one day). But (it will push through) within the week definitely. Maybe Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, once the certificate is ready,” he said.
Uymatiao, who is also the proprietor of Maayo Shipping which operates the barges that ferry passengers and cargo vehicles from Negros Oriental to Cebu and vice-versa, has already committed to provide free transport the stranded individuals.
However, he clarified that this is a special trip intended for the stranded residents only and Maayo shipping will not accept regular passengers.
“I would like to request other passengers who would like to come on to please stay put first. Wala pa man ma-lift ang atong enhanced community quarantine (Our enhanced community quarantine has not yet been lifted),” Uymatiao stressed.
He also disclosed that security details were already ironed out with the police and the Philippine Army, noting that personnel from the provincial police office and the Philippine Coast Guard will be on board the barge to ensure that social distancing and other health protocols are strictly observed.
Arriving residents will be fetched by their respective local government units (LGUs) at Tampi Port in Amlan town.
Meanwhile, Philippine Army 302nd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Noel Baluyan also assured that they will provide support services as needed by the Philippine National Police in securing the arriving residents.
Baluyan said returning residents will be not be brought immediately to their homes but to a quarantine facility designated by their LGUs.
“If the police will request or need assistance to secure these facilities then we are always there,” Baluyan assured. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)