Some boarders worry about food and paying bills

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim - Reporter/CDN Digital | April 01,2020 - 09:00 AM


A nearly empty street is seen in downtown Cebu City, a few hours after the start of the enhanced community quarantine on March 28. |Gerard Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The entire Cebu province is now on an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

This means that movements have been limited, and malls, tourists attractions and some dining establishments have been closed to discourage the public from going out.

Some, who are not from the city went home to their provinces, and those, who are from the city, have made arrangements to adjust to the situation.

Read more: Cebu now under ‘enhanced community quarantine’

But there are also some like Tiara Jabutay, 21, and Jasmyn Olmido, 21, who got stuck in the city due to work and school. They have to conquer the struggles of living alone away from their family, and that’s on top of the challenges of coping with the ongoing strict security measures being implemented to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


For Olmido, who is originally from Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, among the hardest parts of being a boarder with the ECQ in effect are the supply of food and the freedom to go out to the market. 

Olmido was supposed to go back home even before the implementation of the ECQ, but she had an unfinished school project. So her mother, believing that it was safer here, advised her to just stay in the city.

While the city assures that the renters or boarders will also be given quarantine passes, Olmido, who is currently renting a room in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City, has yet to receive the pass.

She said she was more worried about her supply of food as she could not freely go outside without the ECQ pass.

Aside from that, she said she also could not store as much food in her room because she had no refrigerator.

“As of now, the need to consume a healthy meal is hard since we don’t have a refrigerator here where we can store meat, chicken, fish, and vegetables unta aron dili ra sige de lata ang iconsume and malimit ang trips to the market,” said Olmido.

(As of now, the need to consume a healthy meal is hard because we don’t have a refrigerator here where we can store meat, chicken, fish and vegetables and that we would not have to eat canned goods everytime and our trips to the market will be limited.)

Although this was not the first time that Olmido had lived in a boarding house and away from her family, she was still worried about not being with her family in this time of crisis.

“Sa ato sitwasyon ron lisod jud layo sa family,” said Olmido.

(In our situation today, it is diffiult to be away from our family.)

But until this problem goes away, or even eases down, Olmido has to find other ways to lessen her own burdens brought by this pandemic.


Jabutay, on the other hand, who moved to Cebu City five months ago, continues to work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., as part of the skeletal force of the Security and Exchange Commissions (SEC) Cebu Extension Office.

One of the struggles aside from buying groceries and the basic necessities, which run out instantly these days, was, Jabutay said, the difficulty of paying her monthly bills especiallly with the restricted movements under the provisions of ECQ.

Like Olmido, Jabutay has yet to receive her quarantine pass which will be acquired by her company.

“Since we are under ECQ and we are obliged to stay in 24/7, our water and electricity bills are more expensive compared to the previous month,” said Jabutay.

But being stuck in Cebu City because of the ECQ to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Olmido and Jabutay have no choice but to cope with the situation they are in. Amid all these, they have to adjust and find ways to survive these month-long community quarantine whether it be finding a way to get supplies of food and paying their bills without them being issued a quarantine pass./dbs

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TAGS: boarders, coronavirus, COVID-19, Jabutay, Olmido

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