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Solon appeals for Mindanaoans stranded by ECQ in Luzon

By Ellson Quismorio

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez says the government is facing a “humanitarian crisis” as far as stranded Mindanao and Visayas residents in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon are concerned.

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (Rufus Rodriguez official Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (Rufus Rodriguez official Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

“These people have been stranded for around 50 days already. They are running low on food, hygiene kits, and medical supplies. They are really desperate to go home and be with their loved ones,” he said.

Rodriguez was mainly referring to the unfortunate outliers hailing from his province and other areas of Northern Mindanao, since he has personal knowledge about them. He said there are 500 such people stranded in Metro Manila, Clark, and other parts of Luzon due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Rodriguez, in a letter to Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and his deputy Vince Dizon, requested that the stranded persons be permitted to leave by air or sea.

The chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments said he has already made arrangements with flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and logistics firm 2GO.

He has also requested the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to provide for mercy flights.

“May I request for approval sweeper flights from NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) to Laguindingan International Airport [in Misamis Oriental] and passenger vessels to bring these people back to Cagayan de Oro and other parts of Northern Mindanao,” he wrote.

“May I also request that the national government put in place protocols in repatriating those stranded…and provide guidelines for local government units on the proper procedure in accepting these people back to their respective provinces,” the solon added in his letter.

He said the stranded Mindanaoans are composed of 309 individuals from Cagayan de Oro City, 90 from Misamis Oriental and another 90 from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte.

He said there are also students stuck in University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna, while others were supposed to leave for abroad but were not able to because of the lockdown.

“I have been receiving text messages and e-mails asking for assistance for them to be able to go back to Cagayan de Oro and their respective provinces. They were working in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon, but due to the ECQ, they were forced to stop working and are not receiving their salaries,” he said.
Rodriguez also informed Galvez and Dizon that his constituents were ready to be tested for COVID-19.

He said reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing could be conducted at NAIA in the morning so that those found negative could leave for Laguindingan airport in the evening. Those leaving by sea shall be tested at the port.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/05/solon-appeals-for-mindanaoans-stranded-by-ecq-in-luzon/)

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