By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY—At least 722 have finally come home to Antique province after being stranded in Metro Manila for almost three months due to the lockdown.
The last batch arrived Monday, June 15. A total of 191 people arrived at the port in Culasi town.
Dubbed “Libre Uli Antique”, the free repatriation was a joint program of Gov. Rhodora Cadiao and Rep. Loren Legarda.
The repatriation program that started last week had four different batches. Most were mainly stranded in Metro Manila and were picked up by buses and taken to Batangas Port, where they boarded a ship that took them to Antique.
“Each of the Antiqueños have a story to tell,” said Cadiao.
One of them was Lyn Mendoza of Tibiao town. A mother working in Metro Manila, Mendoza requested to come home to be with her daughter Airalyn Joy, a Grade 12 student who is at the intensive care unit of Antique Medical Center after being diagnosed with severe rheumatic heart disease.
The local governments of the 18 towns sent vehicles to pick up the repatriates and shuttle them back to their respective towns.
Meanwhile, the Antique provincial government and the office of Legarda may mount more repatriation when the need arises.