DAGUPAN CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) - The national government's "Hatid Tulong" program has prepared for the calibrated sending-off of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from Metro Manila to the provinces to better assist them in their way home.
Assistant Secretary Joseph "Joy" Encabo, lead convenor of the program, said the Hatid Tulong will resume after the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status of Metro Manila but only in packets or small groups.
"Wala na pong grand send-off para matutukan ang pagbibigay ng assistance at maiwasan ang issue ng social distancing na hindi na sila magkumpol-kumpol at magsiksikan," Asec. Encabo said during the August 11 episode of the Laging Handa Network Briefing.
Encabo said this will be a better approach for the technical working group (TWG) because handling the smaller number of LSIs will be more manageable.
He explained that the number of LSIs from Metro Manila to be brought back to their respective provinces depends on the number that the receiving local government unit (LGU) is willing to accommodate.
Encabo said the TWG is thankful for the positive responses they received from the LGUs.
Provinces in Visayas and Mindanao have already expressed their readiness to receive and talks are on-going with LGUs in North Luzon for the next batches of LSIs.
"Sumusulat na rin po kami sa mga LGUs bandang North Luzon dahil marami pa pong LSIs na natira pauwi ng Cagayan, Batanes, Ilocos Sur at Ilocos Norte," he added.
He said private sectors were also a great help for the "Hatid Tulong" program because as partners, they were supportive in donating food, hygiene kits, sleeping mats and discounts in sea vessels.
HATID TULONG. Assistant Secretary Joseph "Joy" Encabo, lead convenor of the "Hatid Tulong" program, said the program will resume but only in packets or small groups to better assist the individuals and adhere to social distancing and minimum health protocols. Encabo was a guest during the August 11 episode of the Laging Handa Network Briefing hosted by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. (VHS)
Meanwhile in Pangasinan, the Provincial Government has assisted 27 LSIs to enter the province on August 6.
Of the 27 LSIs, 11 were stranded at the Mangatarem-Tarlac border while the other 16 were stranded at the Rosales-Tarlac border.
Like the previous batches of LSIs assisted by the provincial government, all 27 Pangasinenses underwent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab test on the said day administered by the Provincial Health Office.
Governor Amado Espino III said the stranded individuals were fetched by their respective LGUs and were brought to their respective quarantine facilities. (JCR/AMB/VHS/PIA Pangasinan)