Thousands still stranded due to bad weather
More than two thousand passengers were stranded at the Cebu port after the Philippine Coast Guard Cebu station prevented two vessels from Cagayan de Oro bound for Manila from sailing due to strong winds and waves brought about by Typhoon Karen.
At the port, people who wanted to go to Manila stayed at passenger terminal, some of them since Wednesday, waiting for clearance for their boat to sail to Manila.
Data from the Coast Guard station in Cebu show that a total of 2, 097 passengers from Cagayan de Oro who were bound for Manila were left stranded at Pier 3 in Cebu City.
MV St. Francis Xavier and MV St. Pope John Paul of 2GO Shipping originated from Cagayan de Oro and made a stopover in Cebu after they were barred from proceeding to Manila because of the bad weather.
PCG Commander Agapito Bibat said stranded passengers who opted to stay on board the two vessels while awaiting PCG clearance to proceed to their destination were provided with meals.
“Naa ra sila sa teheras sa barko,” Bibat said.
“Dili gyud sila makalarga ug dili ma clear sa typhoon signal,” he added.
(They are in the cots inside the ship. They cannot leave until the typhoon signal is cleared.)
All storm warning signals brought about by Typhoon Karen were lifted last night.
Bibat said that as a policy, the management of the two vessels are supposed to provide meals to their passengers while they remain on board their vessels.
“Risgo man na nila, ila pud na pakan-on mga tawhana (That is part of their (management’s) responsibility. Thus, they should offer meals to these passengers),” he said.
A passenger of the MV Pope John Paul, who declined to be named, said their departure from Cagayan de Oro had already been delayed for almost a day.
A passenger bound for Manila, Galileo Jimenez said they had been sleeping and eating at the terminal since Wednesday. He is among 42 building workers who are on their way to Manila to report for work at the AHD Company. They were accompanied by the company’s representative, Arline Adlawan, who said the workers came from Toledo.
Adlawan complained that 2GO Shipping did not inform them ahead of time about the holding of their trip to Manila on board the MV Leo the Great.
She lamented the additional costs they had to shoulder, which she said is running to around P2,000 already.
Jimenez said there has been no assistance from 2GO.
“Diri ra mi natulog unya ang kaon kay amoa. Amoang gasto tanan. Wa may assistance,” he said.
Adlawan, meantime, advised 2GO, “Dili man ni first time nahitabo, nanghinaot ko nga sa sunod, they will inform the passengers nga ilang tagaan ahead of time. They texted us nga naay travel karon, but sad to say, wala. Postponed, then dili baya ingon nga ang kwarta mapunit ra nato.”
(They should informed us ahead of time. What happened to us was they texted us that we would travel, but the trip was postponed.)
Seven other vessels were prevented from departing from the Cebu port and the Hagnaya Port in San Remigio.
These were the MV Lapu-Lapu Ferry 8, MV Gloria 2, Mv Lapu-Lapu Ferry 1, MV Maria Helena, LCT Melrivic 1, MV Super Shuttle Ferry II and MV St. Braquiel. They were prevented from leaving piers 1 and 3 in Cebu City and the Hagnaya port.
But unlike the two vessels from Cagayan de Oro, passengers of the seven other vessels opted to go back home after learning of their canceled trips. These trips originate from Cebu.
Cebu is still expected to experience cloudy skies with isolated rain showers in the evening until next week.
Another typhoon is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tomorrow and will be named Typhoon Lawin.
Jomar Eclarino, weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa Mactan) said while Cebu may not be in Lawin’s storm track, it will enhance the southwest monsoon, bringing rains.
Lawin is expected to make landfall by Thursday in extreme Northern Luzon, said Eclarino.