STRANDED PASSENGERS IN BACOLOD CITY ALLOWED TO TRAVEL
READY TO TRAVEL. Passengers bound for Iloilo and other areas in Panay Island are being assisted by personnel of Bacolod City Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office in proceeding to the Bredco port on Saturday morning (December 29, 2018), two days after they were stranded due to Tropical Depression Usman. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City DRRMO)
BACOLOD CITY -- More than 400 stranded passengers bound for Iloilo and other areas on Panay Island, who were provided assistance by the city government here, were finally able to continue their trip on Saturday.
The Philippine Coast Guard lifted the suspension of sea travel on Saturday morning after the weather bureau said there is no longer a tropical cyclone warning signal in affected areas, including Negros Occidental and Iloilo, as Tropical Depression Usman has been downgraded into a low-pressure area.
The passengers, mostly from Iloilo province, failed to travel on fast craft and Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) vessels since Thursday noon due to bad weather.
A report from the Coast Guard Station-Bacolod at Bredco port here showed about 700 stranded passengers, including those who opted not to stay in the evacuation center, were able to board the vessels going to Iloilo by noontime.
Those who did not have a place to stay in Bacolod were housed by the City Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) in the classrooms of Education and Training Center School-IV situated near the port area.
Social welfare officer Sally Abelarde said a total of 404 stranded passengers were transported by personnel of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and Police Stations 1 and 2 to the ETCS-IV campus on Friday.
The DSSD-Bacolod and the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s regional and provincial offices distributed relief goods to the stranded passengers and some evacuees while the City Health Office provided sanitary and hygiene kits and medical assistance.
The Coast Guard Station-Bacolod provided security for the stranded passengers while shipping companies also extended assistance to them.
The Philippine Red Cross-Bacolod City Chapter distributed a total of 1,200 food packs and also set up “kitchen-on-wheels”, first-aid stations, and welfare desks.
The Bacolod City Water District supplied potable water to the evacuation area while the Bureau of Fire Protection provided water for washing and cleaning. (PNA)