Lawmakers are asking the National Task Force (NTF) Against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to ensure stringent implementation of health and safety protocols before it sets in motion the nationwide “Hatid Probinsya” operation for locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from July 25 to 26.
Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman said in a text message, “I agree if and only they make sure the LSIs have been tested before sending them to the LGUs. They have to ensure that the LGUs have functioning and decent quarantine centers with testing kits to accommodate the LSIs since infection could occur during transit.”
“We cannot forego these conditions as experience has shown us that demographic exchange propagates the virus,” she stressed.
Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said, “Ithink it’s about time we send all the LSIs back home, but they should follow strict protocols upon arrival. The NTF should test them and isolate and not allow them to go home unless they have been tested and cleared by authorities.”
Southern Leyte lone District Rep. Roger Mercado appealed to the NTF to exclude Eastern Visayas, particularly his home province from its nationwide “Hatid Probinsya” operation, explaining it is not yet ready to receive additional LSIs, considering the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern Leyte.
Some two days ago, NTF Covid-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.announced the nationwide “Hatid Probinsya” operation, which he said, could help decongest temporary holding facilities in Metro Manila.
According to him, the trips will include areas where a moratorium on the entry of LSIs was imposed such as in Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Caraga, Cebu Island and Mactan.
Galvez vowed to meet with the leaders and members of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) to explain new protocols in receiving LSIs.