Travel authority of LSIs bound for Western Visayas suspended

Published June 29, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Aaron B. Recuenco

The issuance of travel authority for individuals bound to Western Visayas has been deferred for two weeks following the decision of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 to suspend the repatriation of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs).

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said all police commanders across the country have been instructed not to issue travel authority for LSIs based on the request of Local Government Units (LGUs) which was approved by the NTF Against COVID-19.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (PNP / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar

“The issuance of the Travel Authority for all travels of LSIs to Western Visayas is suspended for two weeks as per instruction from the NTF COVID-19. We will wait for further notice as to when the repatriation of LSIs to this region would resume,” said Eleazar.

Defense Secretary and TF Chairman Delfin Lorenzana earlier announced that he approved the suspension of repatriation of LSIs to Western Visayas as coronavirus infection cases in the region have started to rise.

“I approve a suspension of LSI repatriation to Region 6 for two weeks starting today. We have to do this because the LSIs are the ones bringing the virus to the provinces,” Lorenzana was quoted saying, citing the data from Bacolod and Iloilo cities.

Earlier, the travel of LSIs to Eastern Visayas was also suspended after LGU quarantine facilities have reached their full capacity. The suspension of Travel Authority for Eastern Visayas travels of LSIs is currently in effect.

Eleazar appealed for understanding from the LSIs, saying there are valid reasons why the suspension of travel had to be suspended wherein one of the major considerations being factored in is the situation in their destinations.

Local officials have been implementing their respective quarantine protocols for the arriving LSIs to protect their respective constituents from the coronavirus which might be carried by asymptomatic LSIs. Part of the local protocols is for the LSIs to be quarantined in isolation facilities designated by the LGUs before they are allowed to join their respective families.

For other regions, Eleazar said the issuance of Travel Authority is still being approved provided that the LSIs would submit a Medical Clearance Certificate which is one of the two requirements for the issuance of the document.

The other requirement before a Travel Authority is issued is the coordination with the LGU-destination.

“Unless there are new instructions and guidelines, these two requirements are still in effect for the issuance of Travel Authority to LSIs,” said Eleazar.