By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday said the government will stop the unlawful return of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to their hometowns by hitching rides in trucks and cargo ships.
Because of this, Año said they have no option but to impose stricter measures in enforcing relevant protocols on the operation of cargo ships and trucks.
Referring to them as “guerillas,’’ Año said some LSIs failed to coordinate with the local authorities concerning their travel to their provinces even if they had obtained the necessary documents.
He added that some LSIs will just board the cargo ships and trucks after obtaining their medical certificates and travel pass without coordinating with the receiving local government units (LGUs).
Some LSIs have resorted to paying the crew members of the cargo ships and trucks to place them on board.
Upon their arrival at their destinations, Año said the returning LSIs will just go straight to their homes without checking in with their LGUs.
Año warned the cargo ship crew members never to take in any passengers who are excluded in their manifesto as they will be made answerable.
He ordered the temporary suspension of the issuance of travel authority to LSIs going to Eastern Visayas as the isolation facilities for COVID-19 positive patients are already full.