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KABAYAN, Benguet – Two years since she went home to Kabayan, Benguet, Ernistine Ananayo, who works in Australia, never thought her reunion with her father would be tragic.
Ernistine couldn’t make it in time for his father’s burial had she gone through the process of following quarantine protocols set by the Inter – Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
With the help of Benguet caretaker Eric Go Yap, Ernistine was able to go straight to Kabayan to attend to the needs of his late father, Ernesto, who died November 1, 2021 after he was buried in a landslide in Poblacion.
According to a police report, the 66 – year – old Annayo, went to pan gold and made a riprap near the river on October 2.
However, the victim never went back home in the evening prompting authorities to conduct a search and rescue operation.
His body was recovered at 9:55 p.m. and was later brought to the local rural health unit but was declared dead on arrival.
Yap sought the assistance of the Bureau of Quarantine and other government agencies to forgo the mandatory quarantine period prior to Ernistine’s arrival from Australia.
“Nakausap natin ang Bureau of Quarantine, nag explain naman tayo na lahat ng protocols susundin natin pero kung i-quaquarantine ng seven days kawawa naman. Sya lang nag – iisang anak, so yung namatay, walang mag aasikaso ng libing,” Yap said.
Ernistine, who currently works as an assistant nurse and a chef kitchen hand in a nursing home, has been in Australia for the past eight years, last saw her father October 2019 and since then was not able to go home due to the Covid -19 pandemic.
“Mayat ti communication mi until lang daytoy August, karu idi October ta straight night shift ken double shift ti trabaho isunga manmano nga makatawag kinyana ket agtaktaka isuna.
Kasla nga nagkadepresion isuna, (We have a good communication but lately since August, most especially in October, I rarely called him because I had to work on double and night shift. I learned he got depressed because I rarely called him),” relates Ernistine.
Ernistine, already made an arrangement to stay in a hotel in Manila to complete the mandatory quarantine period for returning OFW.
But lady luck seems to smile on Ernistine this time, as Yap, who was in Kabayan last week visited her father’s wake and learned of their situation.
Yap immediately got in touch with several government agencies and secured a letter of acceptance as Ernistine, upon arriving, was immediately fetched from the airport and went home straight to Kabayan.
“Agpasalamatak ken Cong. Yap, talaga nga he is action man. Very approachable ken managtulong. Isu ti kasapulan ti ili. Sapay kuma ta agtultuloy ti panagsirbi na iti publiko ken iti ili ta dakkel met ti nakitkitak nga tulong na, (I am very thankful to Cong. Yap, he really is an action man. Very approachable and helpful. Our province needs him. I hope that he will continue to serve and help the public and our province),” Ernistine added.
But more than easing protocols for OFWs to come home and give their last respect to their departed love ones, Yap said he is looking at generating jobs to family members of overseas workers.
“Siguro kelangan nating maka – gawa ng hanap buhay sa Kabayan upang sa ganun, yung mga kababayan natin, maiwasan yung mga delikadong trabaho,” Yap further said.
Since the start of the pandemic, the office of Cong. Yap facilitated the immediate return of hundreds of OFWs who needs to go home to Benguet due to emergency reasons.
The solon was in Kabayan on November 3 to facilitate the payout of 399 beneficiaries of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).
“Yung Tupad, dirediretso na po yan. Yung nakatangap ngayon, huwag pong mag-alala, dahil next batch, baka pwede na yung mga kamag-anak nyo, sila naman ang mabibigyan ng pay-out,” added Yap.
Yap also visited Bokod as he handed out, together with Department of Labor and Employment – Cordilers regional director Nathaniel Lacambra, Mayor Thomas Wales Jr and other officials, payout for more than 300 beneficiaries of TUPAD in the town.
Another batch of TUPAD beneficiaries were given their payout in Sablan and Tuba on November 4. By HENT