‘Oplan Padatong’ assists more than 300 iKalinga LSIs return home
CITY OF TABUK, June 9 (PIA) – – Volunteer groups and private individuals help locally stranded individuals (LSI) from Kalinga return home through “Oplan Padatong.”
More than 300 LSIs have already arrived in the province transited by Victory Liner Sweeper trips arranged by Kalinga students and other volunteers in Manila.
Engr. Daniel Peckley Jr., one of Oplan Padatong volunteers, said 286 LSIs from Metro Manila and nearby provinces and seven students stranded in Baguio were happily reunited with their families home. Six LSIs are set to arrive in Tabuk this week.
Provincial Information Officer Dionica Alyssa Mercado informed that 19 of the 61 cadets from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy assisted by the provincial local government unit (LGU) and this city’s LGU also arrived through hired vans. Ride of others is being worked out, she added.
Peckley said their group referred to the PLGU and the Department of Transportation the 61 PMMA cadets while five returning Overseas Filipino Workers were referred to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Volunteer nurses, radiologic technologists and other health workers conducted rapid tests and thermal scanning to LSIs at Cubao Victory Terminal before boarding the buses.
Dr. Maria Rhoda Bravo who went one day to Quezon City from Tabuk also took part in conducting medical checkups and COVID-19 test to LSIs.
Other LSIs who originated from other provinces took the rapid test at Agbannawag quarantine checkpoint. All other health protocols were done and observed.
“This is continuing,” Peckley said as he thanked in behalf of their group the different sponsors of said trips.
Peckley shared that Oplan Padatong started with the call of Brent Martinez on his facebook page to bring “kailyans” home sometime in the first week of May.
Martinez raised money from among his former colleagues at the Tabuk City Hall and his friends that included Myla Uyam-Pestejo who was later joined by many volunteer donors.
Batch 1990 of the Saint William’s Academy with Uyam-Pestejo as Batch President also became donor of Oplan Padatong.
One LSI in a facebook post expressed gratitude to the group saying: “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the people behind Oplan Padatong. I was stranded for three months in Manila, our first month was okay for we thought the lockdown will be lifted and we can go home anytime, but as time goes by it was getting more difficult.”
“To the people behind this Oplan Padatong, Agbiag!! Ni Apo ti bahala mangsubalit ti tulong nga naited yu knyami with free ride and food. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)