By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — After more than a day of being stuck inside a ship that transported them from Cebu, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) allowed the 54 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to finally disembark at the port in this city Monday, June 22.
The office of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año directed DILG Western Visayas Regional Director Juan Jovian Ingeniero to instruct local officials to allow passage to the 54 LSIs who arrived Sunday, June 21.
They were allowed passage despite a DILG order that disallowed LSIs from traveling from Cebu City and neighboring areas due to the high number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases there.
It was later learned that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Cebu authorized the ship carrying Ilonggo passengers to sail to Iloilo.
While Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo province and Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City were surprised by the arrival, they facilitated the disembarkation of the LSIs and brought them to proper isolation facilities for upcoming COVID-19 tests.
“This should be the last [unannounced] trip. The DILG directive should be followed,” Defensor urged Monday.
“The PCG in Cebu should be investigated,” Treñas added.
Meanwhile, the DILG also noted that local officials in Iloilo may file a complaint against the PCG in Cebu for breach in protocol. The local officials can file it to the Western Visayas task force on COVID-19.