The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) have safely brought back forty-five (45) Hotel and Restaurant Management students from North Luzon who were stranded in Boracay during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) back to Manila.
There are a total of sixty-four (64) stranded students who are having their internship/ on-the-job training (OJT) in Boracay from Regions 1, 2, 3, 8, 11, 12 and CAR. Due to limited flight availability, only 45 were able to board the sweeper flights organized by DOT. The remaining students will remain in Boracay until a flight to their provinces is available and when there is assurance that their respective local governments will allow them to enter the province.
The sweeper flight from Boracay to Manila was arranged by the DOT. Transporting the stranded students from Manila to their respective provinces are handled by their respective higher education institutions (HEIs).
The stranded students who have safely reached their final destination around midnight to early morning of 02 May are from the following colleges/universities, as recorded by the DOT-Boracay:
- 7 from Lorma Colleges, La Union- under quarantine in a hotel at San Fernando, La Union to be monitored by Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO);
- 6 from Nueva Vizcaya State University- under quarantine in the university dorm to be monitored by the Department of Health and their local government unit (LGU);
- 28 from Nueva Ecija University of Science & Technology- brought directly home to be monitored by their LGUs and;
- 4 students from Benguet State University- under quarantine in the university guest house to be monitored by the university clinic
Prior to leaving Aklan, the students were issued COVID-free medical clearance when they had their medical check-up last 30 April 2020. Upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, the students had rapid testing for COVID-19 and are now awaiting results.
“The Commission thanks the efforts of Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and their Field Office in Boracay for the timely sweeper flight and the officials of the concerned HEIs and the CHED Regional Offices (CHEDROs)- I, II, III, CAR and VI for working together to help bring the students back to their families,” said CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III. “We are continuously monitoring the plight of stranded students all over the country and will assure their families that we will do everything to bring them home,” he added.
The rest of the stranded students in Boracay- five (5) from Saint Joseph College of Maasin, Leyte; three (3) from the University of Mindanao; seven (7) from Colegio de Kidapawan and; four (4) from STI College Cotabato are awaiting available sweeper flight so they can go home to their families.
De Vera said that stranded students in other parts of the country can log on to the ‘CHED Survey on Stranded Students in the Philippines during the ECQ’ (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDOaEGCCCvlCunoIhlT2dqxV4XsGJs_8_9ZuIzEvq8Mlk11g/viewform) or coordinate with their HEIs so that they can be assisted.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education