Photo courtesy of City Information Office.

A total of 180 local fishermen who have returned from Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro where they were stranded since March, have been housed in a newly-refurbished containment facility in Barangay Irawan.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), in a press statement on Wednesday, said that the local fishers arrived the late afternoon of May 4 aboard 31 fishing vessels. They are being quarantined in an agricultural trading facility converted into a temporary treatment and monitoring facility (TTMF) in Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City.

The seasonal fishermen, who usually bring their family members, were on a fishing trip since October 2019. They were stranded in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro upon the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on March 15, as they were about to end their fishing season.

“They are called seasonal fishermen, they fish together with their families since October 2019. It’s the end of the fishing season when the lockdown was already implemented due to COVID-19 and they were stranded in Sablayan, [Occidental] Mindoro,” said Commander Severino Destura, station commander of Coast Guard Station (GCS)-Puerto Princesa City.

Normalyn Dave, assistant information officer of the City Information Office (CIO), said that the fishers were all residents of Puerto Princesa City.


Photo courtesy of City Information Office.

“[They are] from Barangays Bagong Sikat, Bagong Silang, and Bancao-Bancao,” Dave said.

They will stay at the quarantine facility for 14 days with daily check-ups from the City Health Office (CHO) medical team.

Food and other essential needs of the said individuals would be shouldered by the city government.

“Damit lang ang dala nila. ‘Yong mga kagamitan sa quarantine facility pati lutuan, lahat ‘yon provided ng city government,” Dave said.

However, no visitor would be allowed during the quarantine period as a strict security measure is being undertaken.

”Bawal bumisita [‘yong mga kamag-anak nila]. Mayroong personnel [from] Philippine National Police (PNP) at Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTF) na nagse-secure ng area. Bawal din sila lumabas at naka-bakod ‘yong facility,” she added.

The personnel from Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDPal), Coast Guard Substation-Honda Bay, CGS Puerto Princesa and CGMED-PAL, together with the other members of the inter-agency task force (IATF) COVID-19 assisted the arrival of the 180 individuals aboard 31 fishing vessels. (with reports from Celeste Anna Formoso, Romar Miranda, and Ruth Rodriguez)