136 stranded domestic tourists in Caraga region flown home

Published May 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – Regional Director Mary Jean A. Camarin of the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported on Monday that the 136
domestic tourists, who have been stranded in various tourist hubs in Caraga region ever since quarantine restrictions were imposed, were finally sent home over the weekend.

(DOT-13 Information Office / MANILA BULLETIN)
(DOT-13 Information Office via PNA / MANILA BULLETIN)

With the assistance of DOT, several other foreign tourists were also flown to Manila from where they could get connecting international flight.

She said the 136 domestic tourists have been stranded in different tourist spots in the region, particularly in the “Paradise Island” of Siargao in Surigao del Norte province, due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

“They were stranded because of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) implemented in various areas in the region since mid-March this year,” the region’s top DOT official said.

Some of the local tourists were stranded in the different tourist destinations in the provinces of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, and Agusan del Norte.

DOT Caraga Region 13, along with the local government units (LGUs) in the region, shouldered their travel expenses from the sites where they were stranded up to Bancasi National Airport in Butuan City.

“All of them 136 domestic tourists) were already sent home in a sweeper flight by Cebu Pacific from Butuan to Manila,” Director
Camarin said.

As of press time, the agency was still verifying if some more domestic tourists were stranded in other parts in the region.

Camarin said the agency was still coordinating with the LGUs to get the remaining number of domestic tourists still stranded in Caraga region.

Last month, 167 stranded local tourists, mostly in Siargao Island, were provided by DOT-13 with financial assistance amounting toP2,000 each through the “DOT Cares” program, while the agency also repatriated stranded foreign tourists in March and April this year.

A total of 818 foreign tourists were already assisted by the DOT, Camarin added.