MARAWI CITY -- More than 500 stranded students of the Mindanao State University (MSU) were sent off to their respective provinces in the CARAGA region on Saturday, May 16.
377 of these students are from MSU Marawi, 118 from MSU-IIT, and 10 from MSU Naawan.
MSU President Habib Macaayong said these students failed to go home due to the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in the province to keep the COVID-19 pandemic in check.
However, they were monitored and provided with food commodities by the MSU administration
“Today, we provided two snacks and lunch for their travel back home,” he added.
The MSU administration in partnership with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) CARAGA led the implementation of the Hatid Estudyante Program to reunite the students with their families.
LTFRB-CARAGA ferried the 505 stranded students in MSU campuses in Marawi City, Iligan City, and the municipality of Naawan in Misamis Oriental using 22 Bachelor Express buses.
“Although may aid na pinapadala ang LGUs, iba pa rin yung nakauwi ka sa pamilya mo. May national emergency tapos malayo ka sa pamilya mo,” said LTFRB-CARAGA OIC-Regional Director Maria Kristina Cassion.
[Although the LGUs are sending aid, it is still different when you are home with your family. There is a national emergency and yet you are away from your family.]
According to her, the return of the students was made possible through the Bayanihan of the government and private sectors.
“The buses were provided by Bachelor Express, the fuel was donated by Petron and Shell, the allowance of the bus drivers came from private donors, and the food was taken cared of by MSU,” she said.
“On the part of DILG and DOH in CARAGA, they have established drop off points because these students will undergo rapid testing. If the result is negative, they will be placed under home quarantine for 14 days. But if it is positive, they will have to stay in the isolation facility for 14 days,” she added.
Overwhelmed with happiness, Jovane Lapaza, one of the stranded students, expressed gratitude to the MSU administration and all the organizations that facilitated their return.
“Di mapantayan ang saya na uuwi na kami sa probinsiya namin. Ang university ay hindi din nagpabaya sa pagbigay ng ayuda sa amin. We are very much thankful sa lahat ng efforts nila,” he said.
[The joy of returning home to our province is unparalleled. The university did not also neglect to provide us with assistance. We are very much thankful for all their efforts.]
Meanwhile, 17 MSU students from Lanao del Norte also went home Saturday morning. The MSU provided a bus and delivered them at the Pantar boundary where representatives from the provincial government of Lanao del Norte received them. (APB/PIA ICIC)
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