ILIGAN CITY: Over 500 stranded students of the Mindanao State University (MSU) various campuses were sent off to their respective provinces in the CARAGA region on Saturday in line with the university Hatid Estudyante Program.
377 of them are from MSU Marawi main campus, 118 from MSU-IIT here, and 10 from MSU Naawan, Misamis Oriental.
MSU system 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.
MSU students are happy to finally return home to their provinces in CARAGA region after being stranded in their dormitories and boarding houses due to the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine.
The MSU administration in partnership with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in CARAGA region 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 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, said LTFRB-CARAGA OIC-Regional Director Maria Kristina Cassion.
Cassion said 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 care 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.
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, Lapaza said.
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.
MASIDING NOOR YAHYA/RSP