Hundreds of nursing graduates from Bacolod and Negros Occidental, many of them lacking sleep after a long wait and having to take an evening trip, finally reached Iloilo City, in time to take the Nursing Licensure Examinations yesterday.
The nursing graduates had tried to get to Iloilo City Friday, but the Coast Guard cancelled all sea travel as Tropical Storm Sendong was approaching.
Lt. Commander Dominador Senador, Philippine Coast Guard Bacolod chief, said sea travel in Western Visayas was cancelled Friday, resumed briefly from 6 to 11 a.m. Saturday, and was cancelled again. Sea travel finally resumed late Saturday.
Lily Ann Baldago, Professional Regulation Commission Region 6 Director, said the Nurse Licensure Examination started at 8 a.m. yesterday but they were instructed to accept those who arrived late because of “Sendong.”
“We were told to accept late arrivals until 10 a.m.,” Baldago said.
She said they also allowed five who registered to take the examination in Cebu City to instead take it in Iloilo.
The nursing graduates from Bacolod City who were able to take the Nursing Licensure Examinations in Iloilo City yesterday, left the Bredco port Saturday evening in an arrangement brokered by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia between a fast-craft company, RORO ship company and the Coast Guard, a City Hall press release also said.
Leonardia, on learning of the plight of the nursing graduates, went to the Bredco port and talked to the coast guard, Supercat and Montenegro Shipping officials.
After the intercession of the mayor, the coast guard allowed a Montenegro RORO ship to leave Dumangas for Bacolod. Stranded nursing graduates who were earlier booked in the fast-ferry trips were then accommodated in the RORO ship that left Bacolod for Dumangas, Iloilo City at 10:30 p.m. of Saturday.
Leonardia said he acted on the matter because missing the examination would have been a big setback for the nursing graduates, as they would then have to wait another six months for the next board examination in June.
He thanked Supercat, Montenegro Lines and the Coast Guard in Bacolod who allowed the stranded nursing graduates to reach Iloilo City early yesterday morning, for their spirit of cooperation.
Leonardia also called Baldagos to ask for a special consideration to stranded Bacolod nursing graduates if they came in late.
Meanwhile, the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Team said Sendong did not cause any damage to Negros Occidental.*CPG