CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, July 15 (PIA)-In the midst of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis, Assistant Secretary Jonjie Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, said the government continues to assist locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) with the intensified efforts on swab testing and contact tracing.
During the daily Laging Handa Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Sec. Martin Andanar, July 15, Gonzales said they have created 46 teams to handle the swabbing and tracing in Western Visayas.
"By the end of this week, we'll have 130 teams which is comprised of Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and local government unit personnel," Gonzales added.
In Region 10, the Department of Tourism (DOT)-10 has already assisted a total of 697 LSIs, 132 of which have already been repatriated through the May 26 sweeper flight. The total remaining outbound LSIs in the region is 211 while inbound LSI is at 273.
DOT Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan said DOT-10 has also extended its assistance to 195 stranded inbound OFWs who have now been referred to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for repatriation.
As for the tourists stranded in the area, Gonzales said there are currently 800 stranded foreign tourists in Western Visayas while in Region 10, DOT has recorded 296 stranded tourists, who have received assistance from the department since March 2020.
Unchuan said they have already coordinated with the LGUs through travel orders to follow up on the status and conditions of tourists in the region. "We gave P2,000 assistance to stranded tourists and other technical assistance as well," Unchuan added.
The department is also regularly updating the master list of stranded passengers for monitoring. (RTP/PIA10)