By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo’s office, in cooperation with various local government units, has provided transportation that would take 784 locally stranded individuals to their home provinces.
Robredo said these individuals were given a bus ride to Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Samar, Masbate, and Quezon province after they were stranded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Bunga ito ng patuloy na pakikiisa ng OVP sa iba’t ibang LGUs na tatanggap muli sa kanilang mga kababayang naipit sa Metro Manila sa gitna ng ipinatupad na malawakang community quarantine (This is a result of continued cooperation by OVP with various LGUs that accept their stranded residents from Metro Manila amid the community quarantine),” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“Mahalagang bahagi ito ng ating inisiyatibo dahil gusto rin nating siguruhin na ang kanilang pagbabalik sa mga bayan at probinsya ay alinsunod sa mga patakaran ng kanilang LGUs (It is an important part of our initiative because we also want to ensure their return to the provinces is in accordance to the rules of the LGUs),” she added.
Last week’s death of 33-year-old Michelle Silvertino, a single mother, exposed the sorry state of stranded Filipinos.
Silvertino died after she was left stranded in Pasay City waiting for five days for a bus ride home to Calabanga, Camarines Sur.
Like Silvertino, many other Filipinos have also been stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as they waited for their flights that were cancelled.
On her radio show, Robredo said the Pasay City government called up her office on the night of June 4 to inquire about the program for locally stranded individuals.
Silvertino was supposed to join the scheduled trip to Bicol on June 6, but it came too late after she died a day before her departure.
“It’s heartbreaking. If she only knew when she could get a ride, where she could go, this wouldn’t have happened. How many more will end up like her if we don’t fix the system?” Robredo said in Filipino.