BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
The Bacolod City government brought home 55 Bacolodnon locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from Cebu City Thursday, while 81 from Negros Occidental are expected to return this weekend.
Bacolod Councilor Cindy Rojas said it has been a challenge for her team to bring the Bacolodnon LSIs home since June and July with ports closing after Cebu City was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Direct flights from Cebu have also been cancelled, she said.
Finally, they successfully brought home 55 Bacolod LSIs who travelled from Cebu via Trans-Asia Shipping Lines that docked in Iloilo, she said, adding that the LSIs then boarded a roll-on roll-off vessel that arrived at the Banago port in Bacolod City at 4 p.m. Thursday.
“For the remaining LSIs in Cebu, do not lose hope. We will bring you all home in time,” Rojas assured.
“I know some people will probably say that the reason why our COVID-19 cases are going up is because of our LSIs and OFW repatriation. But then again, these are our residents, we cannot deny them their right to come home. They have been through the worst times in their lives and we need to be compassionate to their plights,” she added.
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Tabuelan Mayor Raul Gerona reached an agreement yesterday afternoon on the return of the Negrense LSIs in Cebu via the Tabuelan port.
Eighty-one Negrense LSIs are expected to return to Negros Occidental via the Tabuelan Port today, and 52 more will arrive four days later, he said.*