4,000 stranded Filipinos transported to their hometowns over the weekend

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2020 02:55 PM

Stranded individuals stay inside a temporary shelter provided by the Philippine Red Cross by the gate of the Philippine Ports Authority in Tondo, Manila on July 1, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Some 4,000 stranded Filipinos were transported back to their hometowns over the weekend, an official said Monday.

The stranded individuals were transported to parts of Mindanao, Bohol, and Palawan, said Joseph Encabo, head of the government's "Hatid Tulong" program.

"Sinisigurado po namin na ang mga LSI (locally stranded individuals) na ito ay safe na safe or negative [for the virus] bago sila makarating sa kanilang mga probinsya," he said in a virtual press briefing.

(We make sure that these LSIs are safe or negative [for the virus] before they are transported home.)

Some 13,000 stranded individuals are still awaiting transportation, he said.

Under government protocols, stranded individuals are subject to rapid antibody testing and a medical assessment before they are allowed to travel back to their hometown.

Encabo assured local government officials of health protocols being followed before the transportation of stranded individuals after some expressed worries over the possible spread of COVID-19.

"Ito ay dapat maging shared responsibility ng national government at ng LGU na pangalagaan at proketsyunan din ang mga taong posibleng may COVID," he said.

(This should be a shared responsibility of the national government and the LGU to care and protect for persons who might also have COVID-19.)

Malacañang on Monday said 62,762 stranded Filipinos have been sent home to their provinces as of July 2.

Some 13,000 more are still awaiting transportation, Encabo said.