Ormoc welcomes returning residents

Lalaine Jimenea (The Philippine Star) - June 3, 2020 - 12:00am

ORMOC CITY , Philippines – At least 113 residents of this city, who were stranded in various parts of Cebu, arrived here on Saturday.

The city government, through its Stranded Ormocanons Recovery Assistance Task Force led by Councilor Jasper Lucero, welcomed the returning residents.

Councilor Vincent Rama thanked the An Waray party-list and Cebu local government officials for their assistance to the stranded Ormocanons.

Lucero said around 2,000 stranded residents, 600 of them in Cebu, have enrolled in the Stranded Ormocanons Recovery Assistance program.

He said these residents would be allowed to come home in batches to ensure that they could be accommodated in the city government’s Ligtas COVID Center.

A National Housing Authority project for earthquake victims is being used as isolation and quarantine center. Isolation units prepared by various barangays aside from 50 isolation cubes donated by the Rotary Club of Ormoc Bay are also in place.

During a COVID task force meeting on Friday, Mayor Richard Gomez gave assurance that they would welcome returning residents even as he stressed the need for them to coordinate with the city government.

“We are not in a panic mode.  We were never in a panic mode,” he said in reaction to the statement of presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo that the mayor panicked when informed on the arrival of OFWs in Leyte.

As of Friday, Ormoc received 81 residents, 55 of them overseas Filipino workers, under the Balik Probinsya Program. The return of 58 of these residents were ”not coordinated” with the city government.          

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