Private sector, citizens step up anew: Donations pour in for stranded passengers near NAIA

June 12, 2020 - 1:34 PM
Stranded passengers, mostly Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) with cancelled flights due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, take shelter under the NAIA Expressway, outside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 11, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez TPX Images of the Day)

Several private individuals, non-government and a local government unit sent in their donations for the hundreds of passengers stranded near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Reports said that around 200 stranded passengers “have resorted to sleeping under the trees and near the expressway after their flights were cancelled.”

These passengers reportedly refused to leave the area to be able to catch their next flight to Mindanao.

“Natutulog lang po kami dito, diyan, doon, tapos umuulan wala kaming masilungan. May ticket po kami kaso kinansel nila nang kinansel ng hindi namin alam,” passenger Mae Anne, who wants to fly back to Davao, told GMA News.

She lamented why they aren’t allowed to fly even if they have already complied with the government requirements.

Mae Ann said she underwent COVID-19 rapid test, secured travel authority, barangay certification and clearance.

On Wednesday afternoon, the same report from GMA News said that several personnel of Cebu Pacific already talked to the passengers and noted their flight details. They were also grouped according to their destination.

In view of this, concerned individuals, groups and the local government unit of Pasay City stepped up and separately organized donations for the stranded  passengers.

On Friday, former Commission on Elections Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said he delivered food facks to the passengers.

Some online users on the other hand, called for donations for the stranded passengers and lamented that they don’t want to repeat the case of Michelle Silvertino, a single mother, who recently passed away at an overpass while waiting for a bus to Bicol for days.

“We were already stunned by the death of Michelle Silvertino who died waiting for a ride home to Bicol. Should we wait until the same thing happens to them?,” creative director Thysz Estrada tweeted.

Silvertino’s death raised concerns on lack of public transportation amid the community quarantine in place to curb COVID-19.

READ: #JusticeForMichelleSilvertino: Calls for justice mount for woman who died waiting for bus ride to Bicol

Writer-actor and spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo took to Twitter to call for the aid needed by the stranded passengers.

He urged the public to donate halal food as most of the stranded passengers are Muslim.

Meanwhile, Twitter user @rednillas8 said his father wanted to hire four buses that will take the stranded passengers and drop them off all the way down to Mindanao.

While overwhelming help was lodged for the passengers, Estrada questioned why the government is not helping them with transportation

“I found out many private groups are planning to help them with transportation (IKR PRIVATE AGAIN?? WHERE’S THE GOVT???) and that’s great. But can we help with their food? Water? Incredibly ironic they’re stranded across a freakin’ hotel and fast food outlets,” she said.

On Thursday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the stranded passengers will be assisted by the National Task Force on COVID-19 and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Latest reports said that the last batch of locally-stranded passengers were ferried out of NAIA Expressway to Villamor Elementary school for temporary shelter.