NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado and his wife Vanessa have donated two more sea ambulances for as many islands in Bohol’s 2nd District.
Recipients will be the island barangays of Cuaming and Hambongan.
Aumentado said aside from bringing the islanders to the mainland for check-ups and other health emergencies, the pumpboats can also be used for border patrols against those who might want to enter Bohol illegally though its long coastline.
To note, northern Bohol where Inabanga is faces Cebu City and province that have been ravaged by the corona virus disease 2019 (CoViD-19). Hambungan and Cuaming islands are strategically located between Cebu and Bohol – making them ideal transit points for “enterprising” locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in the former province who would like to return home without complying with health protocols.
Aumentado said these LSIs could be CoViD-19 positive but asymptomatic – hence, “daredevils” who take the shortcut, bypassing the travel authority requirement at the point of origin, and the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or swab test and 14-day quarantine upon arrival at their destinations.
Asymptomatic LSIs who beat the border patrols in landing at the islands can unwittingly infect the unassuming islanders. They also tend to lie about their travel history, it being illegal, otherwise they will be penalized – and strictly guarded at designated isolation centers for the mandatory quarantine.
The Aumentado couple turned over the two pumpboats Thursday to former Inabanga mayor turned town Councilor Jono Jumamoy and other local officials as Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy was in another previously accepted and equally important engagement at the time. (June S. Blanco)