The Office of Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and Portia’s Store had set-up a community pantry in BREDCO port yesterday to aid porters from various shipping lines whose livelihood were temporarily stopped due to the 7-day travel ban between Bacolod and Iloilo that was imposed by the National Inter-Agency Task Force.
Familiaran in a Facebook post said that his team was able to provide food assistance to at least 53 porters whose daily income is dependent on the operations of Weesam, Oceanjet and Supercat. Each received 5 kilos of rice, a tray of egg and 1 whole chicken.
According to Familiaran the food assistance was also made possible through the help of an anonymous donor.
Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry chair Frank Carbon, who also manages the operations of Weesam, had earlier sought the assistance of the government to aid workers who were affected of the port closure for commercial operations. Carbon said the imposition of the travel ban has impact on the livelihood of the people whose daily living is connected to the port operations- these would vendors, pedicab and tricycle drivers.
Commercial travel was put to a halt yesterday and will run until end of the month based on the resolution signed by the national IATF. The stoppage of the port operation was part of the memorandum of the IATF after it has escalated the quarantine status of Iloilo City to Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ) due to the surge of cases in the past weeks.
The regional IATF also suspended yesterday commercial sea travel between Bacolod and Dumangas port, but transport of cargoes between Bacolod and Iloilo will remain unhampered.