Gov’t suspends issuance of travel authority to locally stranded individuals
Marje Pelayo • June 26, 2020 • 1263
MANILA, Philippines — The national government on Thursday (June 25) suspended the issuance of travel authority to locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) who wish to return to their respective localities.
Malacañang said the order allows LSis a chance to take a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test to determine if they are carriers of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Sa mga locally stranded individuals po, para magkakaroon po muna tayo ng moratorium hanggang kayo po ay nabigyan na ng RT-PCR [test] bago kayo umuwi ng inyong mga probinsya (To the locally stranded individuals, we will have a moratorium until you have taken the RT-PCR test before returning to your hometowns),” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Such procedure is part of the new protocol for LSIs, according to the National Task Force against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon.
“Ito po ay para protektahan sila at ma-ensure na sila ay COVID-19-free (This is to protect them and to ensure that they are COVID-19-free), he said.
“At the same time, kailangan ding protektahan natin ang mga communities at mga probinsya at LGU na patutunguhan nila. So kailangan pong gawin iyan sa mga susunod na araw (At the same time, we have to ensure that the communities, the provinces, the LGUs they heading to will be protected as well. So we need to carry that out in the coming days),” he added.
Based on a report by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, there are still around 40,000 LSIs in Metro Manila waiting for a chance to return home.
Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said the suspension of travel authority to LSIs will run for up to two weeks based on the recommendation of local chief executives in Region VIII.
Reports said that the reason for the spike in COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas is because of the returning LSIs. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental will temporarily close their respective borders to incoming locally stranded individuals (LSIs) for the next two weeks.
According to Misamis Occidental Governor Philip Tan Itoy, the two-week closure of borders is to allow local health workers and other frontliners to rest from the stress and load brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Governor Itoy also explained that the province’s isolation facilities are in need of cleaning while some require general repair as well as other maintenance works.
The LGUs’ moratorium on LSIs will remain in effect until October 4.
Based on the latest record, the province of Misamis Occidental has the fifth highest number of COVID-19 cases in Northern Mindanao. MNP (with reports from Weng Fernandez)
MANILA, Philippines – Organizers of the government’s Hatid-Tulong program on Friday renewed its call on people who are hoping to return to their provinces to coordinate with their local government units first and only go to the send-off areas when they are scheduled for a trip.
Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo, lead convenor of the Hatid Tulong Program, made the appeal following reports that more than 430 locally-stranded individuals (LSI) are still outside the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
It was earlier reported that some of the LSIs already had tickets but their trip was canceled due to the pandemic, while others lost their job and wanted to return to their respective provinces.
Encabo said they are now looking for temporary shelters for the stranded individuals who are camped outside the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“Kapag nakakita na po kami ng tamang lugar para po gawing temporary shelter ay bibigyan naman namin sila ng pagkakataon na makaavail nun,” he said.
Aside from government agencies, the team is also coordinating with the private sector for the distribution of hygiene kits and food for the stranded persons.
Encabo reminded the LSIs not to go to send-off areas when they have not received any call or advisory for their schedule for a trip home to avoid being stranded.
“Halibawa, kung ang mga indibidwal na pauwi ng Zamboanga at ang schedule pa po ay pauwing Caraga, ay definitely talagang mapag-iwanan sila sa lugar na kanilang pinuntahan. At magkakaroon sila o makakaranas po sila ng problema sa temporary shelter,” he explained.
He said the government will soon implement a clustered send-off to ensure that health protocols such as physical distancing are strictly observed during the trip.
“Kung alin po sa mga rehiyon o mga probinsya na nagpapahiwatig na handa na po silang tumanggap ng LSIs nila ay yun din ang una naming papauwiin,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)
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