Mambukal ‘resort living’ for Negrenses monitored for virus symptoms

By: Carla Gomez - Philippine Daily Inquirer | March 21,2020 - 09:08 AM

Stone facade at the Mambukal Resort in Murcia town, Negros Occidental province. | Contributed Photo

BACOLOD CITY—About 84 Negrenses placed under quarantine found themselves holed up not in some cramped facility but at an idyllic resort in the town of Murcia in Negros Occidental.

The Mambukal Resort, owned by the Negros Occidental provincial government and situated 1,200-feet above sea level and next to Mt. Kanlaon, was closed to the public on Friday while it houses persons under monitoring (PUMs) for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

For the next 14 days, the resort will be the temporary home for these Negrenses who were among the 138 passengers who arrived at Bacolod-Silay Airport on March 19.


These passengers were stranded in Luzon due to the travel restrictions imposed by the government and had to be transported to Bacolod City from Clark International Airport in Pampanga via a special Cebu Pacific flight.

But while the PUMs would be given the use of the cottages that dot that resort, at two persons per cottage, they could not make use of its recreational facilities, said Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz.

The 23.6-hectare Mambukal Resort has seven waterfalls, hot sulfur dipping pools, swimming pools, a pond where one can go boating and trekking areas. Mambukal is also home to several species protected under Republic Act No. 9147, such as the endemic giant golden-crowned flying fox, the Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat and a butterfly garden, raising endemic butterflies.

Diaz said the PUMs would be fed but strictly monitored as they underwent the 14-day quarantine, the expenses of which would be shouldered by the provincial government.

Should any of them manifest COVID-19 symptoms, he or she would be immediately classified as a “person under investigation” (PUI) and would be transferred to the Cadiz District Hospital (formerly St. Anne’s Medical Center) in Barangay Daga, Cadiz City.

Upon their arrival at Bacolod-Silay Airport, the PUMs were not allowed to meet their relatives as part of the precautionary measure against the COVID-19.

Of the 138 passengers, Diaz said nine were allowed to return to Antique province on Panay Island on board a roll-on, roll-off vessel after arrangements were made with the governor of Antique.

The remaining 45 other passengers, who are not residents of Negros Occidental, requested to be quarantined in the province for humanitarian considerations. They included 24 from Cebu, nine from Dumaguete City, seven from various parts of Panay and five from Aklan. The provincial government has yet to determine who would shoulder the cost of their stay.

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TAGS: COVID-19, Murcia, Negros Occidental, quarantine

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