PCG allows vessels to sail
As Tropical Storm Urduja weakened, at least 1,000 passengers were able to resume their suspended trips yesterday.
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station commander Jerome Cayabyab said that they have lifted their ban on sea travel after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa)– Mactan issued an advisory yesterday at 11 a.m. also lifting the storm signals.
“Wala na pong public storm signal. Halos lahat po ng trips na resume, maliban yung trips from Cebu to Iloilo (There are no more public storm signals. Almost all of the trips have resumed except those from Cebu to Iloilo),” he said in a phone interview.
Benita delos Reyes, 42, who was bound to Samar, was glad she could finally go home last night, after three days of waiting around for the weather to clear.
“Okay ra nga gi-suspend nila pero ang problema lang kay kon short kag kwarta. Ingon ani nga stranded kulang ka’g pagkaon (It is okay that our trips were suspended. But the problem is when you only have little money left, it is not enough for food,” she said. Delos Reyes only had P50 inside her pocket.
Delos Reyes, who originates from Caluwayan, Marabot, Western Samar, came to Cebu last December 9 to secure a medical requirement to go to Kuwait.
She said her agency helped her find a place to stay, but she had to share food with six other companions.
“Nag amot-amot lang mi og tag singko para sa kan-on unya nagbahin mi sa usa ka manok sa among paniudto (We chipped in P5 to buy rice and shared a piece of chicken for lunch),” she said.
Devanley Baguio, terminal facilitator said that many passengers complained.
“Naa man gyuy moingon dapat daw mo provide mi og food. Amo nang giingon nga we cannot provide ana kay adto na sa shipping lines. Kay dili man na kabubut-on namo nga naingon ani ni (Many said we should provide food, but we couldn’t do that because that is the responsibility of the shipping companies. We did not wish this to happen),” he said.
There are at least 400 other passengers going to Manila who were stranded, aside from those going to Iloilo.
“Gipa-check-in na namo sila daan sa barko aron mapahimutang sila (We let them stay inside the ship so they would be more comfortable.),” he said.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, the Tropical Depression Urduja was last spotted 65 kilometers east of Romblon.
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