By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – A 59-year-old man, who paddled his boat for four days from Argao, Cebu, was intercepted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Calavatra town, Negros Occidental on Friday.
According to PCG-Negros Occidental Chief Commander Jansen Benjamin, the main arrived from Argao, Cebu after the arduous four-day sea voyage, and reached Barangay Lemery in Calavatra Friday night.
Benjamin said an unmarked, non-motorized boat was seen to have docked at the shoreline at past 10 p.m.
The man was subsequently traced and brought to the Calavatra evacuation center where he will under 14-day quarantine.
It was not the first time that somebody attempted to return to their hometown by way of boat.
On June 17, four persons also went home to Calavatra on board a boat from Balamban, Cebu. They were intercepted at a beach resort in Barangay San Isidro and were brought to a quarantine center.
However, the boat captain managed to escape and was later arrested in Cebu.
Benjamin said that the boat captain alleged that he was ordered by a barangay official in Cebu to send his four relatives to Calatrava town that day.
Local authorities have stepped up its measures to prevent the recurrence of the incident.
Last week, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson temporarily halted the entry of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from Cebu into the province, following the rise in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the province.
He has requested from the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to expand the travel ban out of Cebu City to the whole province of Cebu.