By Ria Fernandez
Approximately 100 passengers will be staying at Delpan Evacuation Center in Tondo, Manila after getting stranded at Manila North Harbor due to Typhoon ‘Ompong’.
Since September 13, four domestic carriers with destinations Cebu, Ozamiz, Iligan, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Coron suspended their trips in the said port, affecting around 200 passengers.
Michael Bantog was among those who chose to stay at the port.
He was supposed to leave Manila for Cagayan De Oro City yesterday.
He said he was informed of the cancellation yet he still went to the port as he was eager to come back to his home province following the termination of his job.
However, he had already spent the whole budget he set aside for this trip.
“Wala na akong budget. Saktuhan lang talaga (I have no money now. I only allotted exact budget [for this]),” he said.
Meanwhile, Alma Escarda traveled from Tarlac all the way to the port terminal with her 4-year-old son so they could attend her mother’s wake in Iligan.
She only learned that her booking was rescheduled when she arrived.
Good thing, she said, that her mother’s burial is set on September 23.
“Di ko [pa] sila makontak. Lobat na cellphone ko (I haven’t contacted them. My cellphone battery is dead),” Escarda said.
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), with the help of the terminal operator and a vessel company, offered assistance to stranded passengers.
Temporary shelter, allowance, and food were provided to them.
“Last night, the elderly and those passengers with children were admitted to our ‘Bahay Silungan’,” Manila North Harbor port manager Rosenda Sumagaysay said.
Trips at Manila North Harbor Port are expected to resume Thursday next week.