Tubigon, Bohol – What thought to be just an ordinary day in the town’s wharf and pier turned out to be a host to an unexpected tragedy brought about the M/V Island Fastcraft 1 burned down in flames and later sunk on August 21, 2011 off Lawis Ledge in Talisay City, Cebu.
A total of 66 passengers were brought to the Tubigon Whart and immediately transported to the Tubigon Community Hospital (TCH) by the municipal officials headed by Vice Mayor Virgilio Fortich, Councilor Marlon Amila, Municipal Planning Officer Noel Mendaña and Tubigon Hospital Administrator Victoria Ceniza-Heyrana. They were summoned by Mayor William Jao in Manila due to official matters to attend to the plight and welfare of the survivors of the burnt vessel. Nevertheless, the mayor was still on top of the matters from afar as the hospital’s ambulances took the distressed passengers to the town’s medical center.
The staff of TCH spared no time in attending the emergency situation by checking the distressed passenger’s condition and such as their temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs. Even those medical staffs on off-duty volunteered to extend their time just to make sure they are taken care of.
Various non-governmental and socio-civic oriented groups responded to the call of the situation by bringing in much-needed relief goods, dry clothing, foods and soups such as the Rotary Club of Tubigon, Philippine Red Cross-Bohol Chapter, Brotherhood of Christina Businessmen and Professionals-Tubigon and Tagbilaran Chapter, Tarsier 171. They also provided the needed consolation to the passengers and assisted them to contact their families about their situation.
Government offices such as the Philippine National Police and 53rd Engineering Brigade also extended their helping hand by facilitating together with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office taking note of the passenger’s information and other pertinent contact details.
The governor of Bohol Hon. Edgar Chatto together with his wife Ms. Pureza Chatto and Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio,II spent time consoling the passengers and assuring them that the provincial government would extend their help in any way they can. The governor also called the representative of the M/V Island Fastcraft immediately at the hospital office together with the Vice Mayor Fortich and company for a brief post-crisis management meeting. The provincial government briefed the management with the necessary steps to be taken to resolve the matter promptly.
According to the members of the Municipal Peace and Order Committee, they have seen such response so fast that each and everyone bring out whatever he can for the welfare of those in need. Through the recent event, the committee is now looking to empower its disaster coordinating councils at the municipal and barangay levels.