Jul 8, 2020

14 families placed under 14-day quarantine in Macarascas

Macarascas barangay chairman Jane Villarin told Palawan News the fishing boat crew, mostly originating from Cebu, were rescued by a Malaysia-bound fishing vessel when their boat developed a motor engine at the West Philippine Sea on April 13.

Some 14 families in Barangay Macarascas in this city have been placed under strict 14-day quarantine by local health officials following reports that a crew of a local fishing boat that had docked at the village’s port had traveled from Malaysia.

Macarascas barangay chairman Jane Villarin told Palawan News the fishing boat crew, mostly originating from Cebu, were rescued by a Malaysia-bound fishing vessel when their boat developed a motor engine at the West Philippine Sea on April 13.

The boat that rescued the fishermen was reportedly en route to Malaysia to deliver marine products and had carried the crew before heading for Macarascas.

“Nasira ang bangka [sa laot] nila tapos dahil nga baka masira ang pugita inilipat nila sa lantsa at dinala na rin ata ng Malaysia. Ang malinaw kasi doon nagkaroon silang contact doon sa isang tao na may travel history at kinonfirm din ng kapitan ng bangka,” Villarin said.

“May nakarating na report sa akin na nagkaroon pala ng contact doon sa Pilipino na taga Cebu pero nagbibyahe ng Malaysia,” she added.

Villarin said that the vessels regularly dock at Macarascas pier and that the majority of the fishermen are from Cebu.

“Taon-taon ‘yan sila dito, ang iba nga d’yan 2002 pa nandiyan na. Kapag panahon ng pusit dito na ‘yan sila hanggang ilang buwan. Kilala na namin ang iba d’yan sa kanila. Karamihan sa kanila ay taga-Cebu, ‘yong may-ari naman ng bangka ay parang taga-Puerto lang rin,” she said.

Villarin said the fishermen have been quarantined in their boat, adding that they have suspended the issuance of quarantine pass in the area and ordered the temporary closure sari-sari stores.

“Noong nalaman natin ‘yon ay may ginawa naman agad tayo, hindi na muna tayo nagbigay ng mga quarantine pass, pinasara na rin natin ang mga tindahan, walang lumalabas ng bahay. Mahirap na magtiwala. Ang sistema lang ay sila ang magbababa ng mga goods nila, naka-gloves at mask tapos kukunin na lang ng buyer. Basta bawal silang bumaba,” she said.

The local quarantine will end on April 27.

She also added that they are continuously distributing food assistance to these families.

“Hinahatiran lang natin sila doon ng bigas at mga isda. Tingin ko naman safe na kasi nakikiramdam din ako, ilang araw nalang tapos na ang quarantine nila. Wala naman nangyayari na hindi maganda, sana wala na,” Villarin added.

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