C. Visayas IATF Prepares For Arrival Of Over 100 LSIs From Luzon


The Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (RIATF) is now readying for the arrival of more than 100 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from Luzon.

The LSIs are expected to arrive in the four provinces in Central Visayas next week.

Michael Braga, DILG-7 regional information office, said more returning LSI beneficiaries of the Hatid Tulong Program―an initiative of the Office of the President and implemented by the Presidential Management Staff― are expected to return home in the region.

The program is another initiative of the national government on top of the Hatid Probinsya Program and Oplan Homeward Bound which are intended to help stranded individuals in Manila and other parts of the country go back to their respective provinces.

The arriving LSIs will comprise the second batch of beneficiaries of the said program.

“The next batch of LSIs will take on government-sponsored trips from Metro Manila. Aside from the free transportation, they will also be given a small traveling allowance,” Braga said during a virtual presser of the Philippine Information Agency-Region 7 (PIA-7) on Wednesday.

He pointed out that all Hatid Tulong Program beneficiaries are required to present negative results of rapid antibody diagnostic testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) before boarding their flights.

All returning LSIs, Braga said, will be subjected to quarantine protocols implemented by the local government unit of their destination.

He also asked LSIs from Cebu City for more patience and understanding as the travel ban is still imposed for outbound passengers from the city due to a high number of active coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases here.

“We have asked the Inter-Agency Task Force to reconsider your situation. However, we need to avoid the further spread of the virus to other provinces, hence we are implementing this travel ban,” Braga said.

However, LSIs may start processing their needed documents so they can travel once restrictions are lifted. (PNA)