The provincial government has extended cash aid of P300,000 to dozens of Boholanos stranded in Bato, Leyte due to the suspension of air and sea travels bound for Bohol.
Bato Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office Liza Lecaros confirmed that the amount has been transferred to their local government unit’s account from the Bohol Provincial Treasurer’s Office.
According to Lecaros, the amount was used to purchase three full meals a day for the stranded passengers and their basic needs. These were also added with 130 packed meals amounting to almost P24,000 from the office of Second District Rep. Aris Aumentado.
The money sent by the Bohol provincial government covered expenses shouldered by the Bato LGU, but is unlikely to be enough should the passengers take shelter at the town’s evacuation center for an extended period.
“Kining tanan namo na gasto mura’g for three days ra mao toy among e-charge namo didto then og kuwangan ra kay di man g’yud to paigo kami na taga LGU Bato mo [puno],” Lecaros said.
There are around 130 stranded passengers who are now housed at the Bato evacuation center.
Considering that the passengers came from Metro Manila where the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading, they were all tagged as persons under monitoring for possible infection.
There were initially over 200 passengers who arrived in busloads in Bato last Monday in hopes of beating the implementation of the community quarantine in Bohol but others tried to sneak into the province while others went to relatives.
“Sad to note na nag-iyahay sila og paningkamot na makaabot g’yud sila sa Bohol, pero beyond nana sa among control,” said Lecaros.
Others meanwhile were located in lodging houses and were brought to the evacuation center for quarantine.
“Nagsuroy-suroy sila sa among tawn pero di man mi mo sugot ana,” she added.
The provincial government is mulling a mercy mission for the Philippine Coast Guard to fetch the stranded Boholanos in Bato and ferry them to the province where they will be quarantined, but details on the operation has yet to be clarified by officials.
Bohol was initially placed on community quarantine from March 16 to March 20, but Governor Art Yap on Thursday signed an executive order extending the quarantine’s validity until April 12.
The measure bans all sea and air travels to Bohol to protect the province from the growing COVID-19 threat. (Rey Tutas)