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By: Mylen Manto | Published Tuesday, May 05, 2020

The first batch of Cebuanos who were not able to go home because of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will receive their cash assistance from the Cebu Provincial Government today, May 5, 2020. The Capitol sent their assistance through cash remittance centers.

These recipients underwent the necessary verification process to qualify for the assistance. The Provincial Board members and their respective personnel helped in verifying each application received.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced this on Monday, May 4 during her regular report on Covid-19-related updates live on Facebook.

“You will get a message through cellphone with instructions og asa makuha kay we will be sending this (assistance) through kwarta padala,” she said addressing the SCAC beneficiaries.

The governor, however, opted not to reveal the amount to avoid chaos among the public, like the present scenario on the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The Capitol launched the Stranded Cebuanos Assistance Center (SCAC) to help residents of the different towns and cities of Cebu Province who got stuck in provinces outside Cebu when domestic travels were postponed.

Residents of Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City are not qualified to join the program as these cities have independent jurisdiction from the Provincial Government.

On Saturday, May 2, Garcia shared that over 2,249 sent their applications for the assistance on the SCAC’s official Facebook page. Of this, 1,237 were processed by the SCAC team. 

Of the 1,237, some 488 were rejected because they were stranded in Cebu City, Lapu-lapu City, and Cebu Province.

Garcia emphasized that the assistance is for those who are stranded in other provinces, not within the island of Cebu. Those who have also lived outside Cebu for many years are not considered as stranded individuals.

“Diba klaro man ni nga kining ato ba nga tabang stranded Cebuanos meaning tua’g laing lugar. Unya gusto mu-uli diri kay Cebuanos man,” she said.

Mercy trips

The governor also clarified that the trip of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who arrived in Cebu on April 28 were facilitated by the national government, not by the Capitol.

She said she cannot facilitate mercy flights or mercy voyages because it is beyond her power as a provincial governor.

Garcia asked Cebuanos not to blame her for closing Cebu’s seaports and airports as the country has a standing national policy banning domestic trips, except for doctors and cargoes.

“Duna baya mo’y igong panahon manguli. Kay kun mahinumdum mo, niadtong panahona dako na kay tong balita nga gi-sira na sa Presidente (Duterte) ang Manila.

In reaction to that, ni-sira nasad ta pero dili diha-diha dayon,” she said.

“Gitagaan to nato og 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours. Ang pinakadugay nisira ang atong seaports. Nagpadayon ang sea travel aron makapauli ang Cebuanos. Akong pangutana, ngano wa man mo manguli?” she stressed.

Airports and seaports were closed from passenger travels, both international and domestic, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Cebu Province.

“Unsa may rason ana? Para mabutang sa kasiguroan ang kadtong anaa na mismo, in place na, sama diris Cebu. Dako na gani natong problema nga sige nagsaka ang positive cases sa Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-lapu City og nagsugod-sugod na ang Province. Dako na gani, magpuno pa gyud ta og abli mas musamot kadako atong problema,” Garcia expressed. (Mylen Manto)