By Liezle Basa Inigo
CAMP MARCELO A. ADDURU, TUGUEGARAO CITY — Police Regional Office 2 facilitated the “Libreng Sakay” for locally stranded individuals (LSIs), Ivatans stranded in Tuguegarao City and Aparri, Cagayan on May 28, Thursday.
A report from PRO2 Regional Director Police Brig.-Gen. Angelito Casimiro noted that “Libreng Sakay” catered to the 62 residents of the Province of Batanes—composed of 54 students, five overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and three individuals who were stranded in Tuguegarao City and Aparri, Cagayan.
All were affected by the implementation of an enhanced community quarantine and a general community quarantine in Region 2.
The said LSIs, together with the 14 personnel of Batanes PPO, two personnel of the Aviation Security Unit 2 (AVSEU 2), and four personnel of BFP, were transported to Sta. Ana, Cagayan where they boarded a Philippine Coast Guard ship bound for Batanes.
Prior to their departure, the said LSIs visited PRO2 and the Regional director assured the stranded Ivatans that the PNP will initiate “Libreng Sakay” in coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard, who will provide for their transportation back to their home province.
“Kung hindi kayo tatanggapin dahil hindi kayo na-quarantine pagkadaong ninyo sa Batanes, bumalik kayo dito sa PRO2 at i-quaquarantine ko kayo sa mga quarantine facilities ng PRO2 at sasagutin ko lahat ng pagkain niyo. Huwag ninyong isipin na walang tutulong sa inyo habang andito kayo, andito kami na kapulisan upang tulungan kayo hanggang makauwi kayo ng Batanes,” he added.
[Translation: If you won’t be accepted by your province because you weren’t placed under quarantine, come back here at PRO2 and I will put you under quarantine in our facilities. I will take care of your food while you’re here. Don’t think that we won’t help you while you’re here. We, the police, are here to help you return to Batanes.]
All the 62 individuals were instructed to secure a medical certificate from the health offices of the local government units where they were stranded to make sure they are cleared of the coronavirus and that they underwent the necessary quarantine procedures, following the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Aside from the “Libreng Sakay,” the LSIs were also given rice and vegetables to bring home with them to Batanes.