Proper screening through early registration can facilitate the smooth return and proper accounting of locally stranded individuals (LSIs), the chair of the Regional Task Force Covid 19 in Western Visayas (Region 8) said on Wednesday.
Jose Roberto Nuñez, who is also the Civil Defense regional director, said on Wednesday the early registration of LSIs will also help concerned government agencies to differentiate them from those who are supposed to be classified under the Balik Probinsya Program.
He said the problem of identifying the beneficiaries of the two programs cropped up when the Hatid Tulong and the Balik Probinsya were done simultaneously.
In an interview, he said there were workers displaced as a result of Covid-19. They decided to come home to the province and joined the group of LSIs.
“It’s not too late to correct all these procedures. In the region, two weeks before the arrival, we have a series of meetings to identify what needs to be done and who will handle them,” he said.
He said that he has already tasked the person in-charge of their operations to come up with a sample format for the registration. They are yet to test the process for LSIs going out of the region.
The registration can be done by calling the concerned agency. Through the process, the concerned government agency would know the profile of the supposed LSI such as their current address and how long they have been staying there.
Once registered, the LSIs will just be notified of the next step that they have to do in preparation for their departure.
He added that with the registration, they would know if they are LSIs or for Balik Probinsya. “We have plans to have a dry run,” he said.
More than 900 LSIs onboard 2Go’s St. Michael The Archangel vessel from Manila arrived at the Iloilo port terminal on Tuesday.
They were fetched by their respective local government units upon arrival and transported to their respective localities.
They were among the thousands of LSIs stranded in Manila and were sent off to the provinces through the Hatid Tulong Program.
Nuñez said that they have been tested negative using the rapid diagnostic test before their departure but will still be subjected to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
He added that for now, the region has enough RT-PCR kits but the Department of Health (DOH) has also requested additional test kits from the National Task Force Covid-19.
Meanwhile, he said that local government units also took care of converting evacuation centers within their jurisdiction into temporary isolation centers for LSIs and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).
He also requested the Department of Public Works and Highways to assess other evacuation centers in the region whether they can be improved to be used as temporary isolation facilities.
He said the region still has enough isolation centers.
Source: Philippines News Agency