Lanao Sur residents stranded in Manila due to COVID-19 lockdown are finally home

LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental –   Lanao del Sur residents who were stranded in Manila for nearly three months due to the COVID-19 lockdown are finally home.

A total of 126 returning residents arrived at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental at around 1:40 p.m. on Saturday,  June 6,  on board an Air Asia plane, chartered by the Lanao del Sur provincial government.

A child looks through the window of a bus that would take him and his mother home to Lanao del Sur after the COVID-19 lockdown left them stranded for nearly three months in Manila. A hundred and 26 residents returned home on board an Air Asia flight chartered by the Lanao del Sur provincial government on Saturday, 6 June 2020. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Zia Alonto Adiong, Bangsamoro member and spokesperson of the Lanao del Sur Inter-Agency Task Force said they also chartered six Rural Transit aircon buses to bring the residents from the airport to  Marawi City.

“They have been stranded in Metro Manila long enough. They are now finally home,” Adiong said.

David de Castro, Air Asia spokesperson, said the Lanao del Sur provincial government chartered the flight to bring 160 residents.

De Castro said only 126, however, made it to the flight.

Carrying bags of foodstuff, a resident of Lanao del Sur boards a bus at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental soon upon arrival on Saturday, June 6, 2020 from Manila. The Lanao del Sur provincial government chartered an Air Asia plane and six buses to bring hom 126 residents who were stranded fin Manila fro nearly three months due to the COVID-19 lockdown. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Shiela Ganda, a member of the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force said the “no-show” residents may have encountered difficulty in securing their travel passes.

Ganda said the buses would bring the returning residents to the quarantine facility in Sagonsongan, Marawi City where doctors and nurses would examine them for any symptoms of the COVID-19.

buses to bring home more than 126 residents left stranded for months in Manila during the COVID-19 lockdown. Photo by Froilan Gallardo

She said once the residents finish their medical examination, the Lanao del Sur IATF will contact the local government units where the passengers reside, to send their vehicles to fetch them.

Upon reaching their destinations, the returning residents will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine – either at home or in the local government’s isolation facility. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews) 

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