CURRIMAO, Ilocos Norte, July 7 (PIA) - Home at last!
Two locally stranded individuals (LSI) from Ilocos Norte has now returned to their hometown through the national government's "Hatid Tulong" program after being stranded in the National Capital Region.
This government initiative aims to provide transportation to those who are stranded in Metro Manila due to lockdowns and travel restrictions caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Upon arrival at the Badoc border, passengers embarked from the Partas bus and were validated and underwent medical screening administered by the Provincial Health Office.
HATID TULONG. The Hatid Tulong bus arrived at the Ilocos Norte boundary around 2:00 am on Monday with two LSIs among the passengers. (photo by DILG Ilocos Norte)
Marlone Dela Cruz, an electrician and is one of the two LSIs, is finally back home in his town, Currimao town, after being stranded in Manila for four months due to unavailability of transportation as community quarantine is still in placed in the whole country.
"Malaking tulong po sa aming mga na-stranded ang Hatid Tulong program ng ating gobyerno kasi sobrang hirap po talagang umuwi ng Ilocos," Dela Cruz said.
He learned about the national government's transportation assistance for LSIs after watching a news on the television.
The LSI mentioned how life has been tough for him when he was stranded in the metro, narrating how he would borrow money from his colleagues so he could survive daily.
"Napakahirap po noong na stranded ako, palagi akong umuutang sa mga kasamahan ko para lang may magamit sa pang araw-araw na gastusin," Dela Cruz shared.
Following the province's protocol, he is presently quarantined at the Mega Complex in his town.
When released, he plans to continue working in Ilocos Norte so he could still provide for his family.
"Dito na po ako sa Ilocos Norte magtatrabaho kasi mahirap po ang buhay sa Manila ngayon, wala po masyadong hiring," he stated. (JCR/AMB/MJTB/SMC/PIA Ilocos Norte)