TAGUDIN, Ilocos Sur, July 7 (PIA) - A total of 36 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from the National Capital Region arrived in the province of Ilocos Sur on Sunday night through the "Hatid Tulong" initiative of the Office of the President and various national government agencies.
Said LSIs were ferried by Partas Transportation Co., Inc. from Quirino Grandstand to the drop-off point established at the Tagudin border.
The first batch which includes 21 stranded individuals arrived by 9:45 in the evening, preceded by another batch of 15 LSIs at around 10:04 p.m.
"Ang protocol kasi ng Ilocos Sur ay kailangan lahat ng darating na LSIs at returning overseas Filipinos ay i-drop-off sa Taguidin or Sinait border, wherever their entry point is," said Dr. Trina Talaga, chief of the Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital-Gabriela Silang.
Upon verification, representatives from the Provincial Health Office facilitated the initial medical screening and filling out of health declaration forms.
Before they were turned over to their respective local government units (LGUs), each LSI was provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development with food pack composed of kilos of rice, canned goods and coffee, and snacks.
Through the coordination of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to the concerned LGUs, service vehicles were provided to ensure that stranded individuals will be transported back to their respective cities/towns safely.
Two provincial buses were stationed on the site as back-up in case the receiving LGU failed to send a service vehicle for their incoming LSIs.
These individuals will undergo mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine in their respective cities/municipalities.
"In our province, that's the best control that we have practice na ang lahat ng LSIs ay diretso sa quarantine facilities," Talaga stated.
A briefing was held in the afternoon among regional and provincial line agencies who served as the receiving team to ensure a smooth turn over and that protocols will be observed in the process.
Meanwhile, these individuals who were sent back home after months of being stranded in Metro Manila expressed their appreciation to the said program, to the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), and the different government agencies who assisted them.
One of the LSIs coming home to Narvacan said, "Ang laki ng pasasalamat ko sa programang ito, sa LMP kung saan ko nalaman na may ganitong programa, sa pamahalaang lokal ng Narvacan at lahat ng government agencies na tumulong sa amin."
While a beneficiary bound for Cabugao town exclaimed, "Kahit sobrang nakakapagod, hindi kami gaanong nahirapan dahil hindi kami pinabayaan nung mga iba't ibang frontliners na talagang inasikaso kami at binibigyan kami ng pagkain, cash assistance at pati grocery." (JCR/AMB/CGRC/PIA La Union)