Malaya to LGUs re LSIs: Take in your constituents, they have the right to go home
QUEZON CITY, July 3, (PIA) – Department of the Interior & Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya on Friday appealed to Local Government Units to accept returning locally stranded individuals since they have the right to go home.
Reports saying that LSIs are carriers of coronavirus disease in several parts of the country made some local chief executives (LCEs) to refuse the return of their constituents.
During the Laging Handa public briefing on Friday, Malaya said LGUs can impose their own health and safety protocols including swabbing and quarantine to the returnees, acknowledging that vigilance on both ends is needed to prevent further spread of the virus.
Malaya said some 4,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) will be returning to their hometown under the “Hatid Tulong Program “starting Saturday, July 4 to Sunday, July 5.
He explained that only LSIs of Luzon and Mindanao will be returning to their home provinces for the meantime.
LSIs going to Visayas will stay behind for a while per request of the Regional Inter Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases and governors of Eastern and Western Visayas since Cebu is still on enhanced community quarantine.
However, Malaya assured that those left behind will continue to be given government assistance while waiting for the lifting of the suspension of the program in Visayas.
Malaya explained that prior to LSIs return to their home province, they are required to secure a medical certificate from the local government unit (LGU) where they are staying, they need to present the medical certificate to the local police station to be able to get a travel authority.
“They need also to present the documents to check points for those who have vehicles while for those without vehicles, coordination with LSIs respective LGUs is being done by the being done by concerned agencies and LSIs with tickets are now assisted for rebooking,” Malaya said.
To ferry the LSIs, the government has prepared an airplane coming from the Philippine Air Force, 100 buses courtesy of President of League of Municipalities Mayor Chavit Singson, 3 ships courtesy of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Coast Guard and a commercial vessel. A train coming from Philippine National Railways (PNR) will also be taking home some of the LSIs. To ensure their protection, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group will be escorting. (PIA-NCR)