EL NIDO, Palawan — The municipal government here has sponsored five sweeper bus trips to transport around 800 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) back to Puerto Princesa City and other municipalities.
El Nido municipal administrator Raffy Cabate said Monday that their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) started the sweeper bus trips Monday for LSIs who are only from the city and municipalities of Palawan.
He said they have decided to help the LSIs in their transport needs because the operation of mass transport remains restricted.
Each bus, he said, will only allow 33 passengers to board in compliance with the physical distancing measures. They aim to complete the transport of the LSIs in a week’s time.
“Mas mabuting maayos ang kanilang pagbiyahe matapos silang mabigyan ng travel authority. Dito makakasiguro tayo na ligtas sila kasi nakikita natin na mas mahihirapan sila sumakay kung sila-sila lang kaya minabuting gawin ito ng ating EOC,” Cabate told Palawan News.
Among the first batch of 100 stranded locals to go back to the city on May 25 was businesswoman Lilibeth Tugom.
Tugom got stranded in El Nido on March 15 when President Rodrigo Duterte imposed the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Salamat naman at makakauwi na kami sa Puerto Princesa at nang maasikaso na rin namin ang aming bahay doon at ang pinapabordingan ko mapaayos na din,” she said.
“Although may kaunting negosyo din kami dito sa El Nido pero ang hirap bumawi agad sa sitwasyon natin ngayon, tapos kababayad ko lang ng dalawang buwan naming upa sa space na tig-P30,000 sobrang mabigat na, wala din pang kinikita,”Tugom added.
Cherry Bus driver Jimmy Dumdumaya, meanwhile, said they have prepared at least seven units of their buses to cater to the LSIs in El Nido.