As the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) persists, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged the government to establish a system in handling locally stranded individuals (LSI) to ensure their safety while they are being assisted by the government.
“Let us help our countrymen who are finding ways to return to their home provinces. Let us give them a proper system so that they are not waiting in transportation terminals,” Go said in a statement.
“Let us take care of them and provide them food and shelter. We should not let them flock to prevent further transmission of the disease,” he added.
Go reiterated his call to local government units (LGU) to prepare for the arrival of the returning LSI and asked local chief executives to maintain coordination with the national government to prevent unsanctioned travels that do not follow proper health protocols.
“That is why I am urging the government to prioritize health protocols so that all who travel will be safe and also, the LGU should be willing and ready to accept these individuals,” he said.
Go mentioned the assistance to the LSI which catered to more than 3,000 individuals who travelled back to Mindanao last 3 and 4 July.
Another batch of LSI bound for Albay and Bohol were also assisted last 10 and 11 July.
On 25 and 26 July, another batch of LSI is scheduled to return to their home provinces.
Go mentioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to ensure that the LSI and other stranded Filipinos will be able to go back to their home provinces.
The Hatid Tulong is the government’s short-term assistance program intended to help stranded Filipinos during the lockdown to return to their provinces.
Meanwhile, the Balik Probinsya, Balik Pag-Asa (BP2) program seeks to decongest the National Capital Region by encouraging residents and businesses to invest and relocate to other regions outside Metro Manila.
The BP2 program remained suspended to pave the way for the Hatid Tulong Initiative.