DILG gears up ‘Hatid Tulong’ to assist LSIs

Published July 8, 2020, 11:26 AM

by Chito Chavez

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday said that 1,476 individuals who are eager to return to their respective provinces remain stranded in Manila.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a public briefing, Año said that these locally stranded individuals (LSIs) will remain under the care of the government and will be given food and clean shelter while they are still in Metro Manila up until they are allowed to go home.

The DILG noted that under the government’s “Hatid Tulong” program, 4,180 LSIs were able to return to their homes on July 4-5 while 3,820 were allowed to travel back to their places on July 6-7.

The DILG chief said the LSIs’ returned to the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Mimaropa, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Zamboanga Peninsula and Soccsksargen.

Under government protocols, the LSIs must undergo rapid testing and medical assessment before they are allowed to travel back to their hometown.

Earlier, Año stressed that airline companies should not sell flight tickets if it remains unclear that they cannot land on a specific local government unit (LGU).

He issued the call as the number of locally stranded individuals (LSI) with flight tickets have ballooned as their scheduled departure to their destinations were cancelled.

Año stressed that the flights must be well-coordinated with local government units to avoid cancellations.