The province of Negros Oriental has received a total of 7,604 returning residents under the government’s “Hatid Tulong” and “Hatid Probinsya” programs in line with the fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Provincial Tourism Officer Myla Mae Bromo Abellana on Wednesday said of the total, 6,812 are locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) and 792 are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs). Among them are individuals who personally paid for the expenses for their travel back home.
The data from the Provincial Tourism Unit as of July 24 this year was based on reports collated from the 25 local government units (LGUs) in the province, Abellana said.
These individuals arrived in Negros Oriental starting in May when the province partially opened its borders for returning residents, following a total lockdown of its borders for the entire month of April under an enhanced community quarantine status.
The returning residents, mostly from Manila and Cebu, came in via sweeper flights at the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport, and ferry trips at the Tampi, Amlan port, and the Dumaguete port, Abellana said.
For the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) takes charge of their requirements to include documentation, hotel accommodation and food, among others, while for LSIs, the LGUs are mandated to receive them and ensure that they pass through proper health protocols and quarantine measures, she added.
With the province now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), more returning residents are expected although the LGUs have been given the discretion by the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to impose additional requirements, Abellana said.
Some towns and cities are now requiring a negative result of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, valid 72 hours after release, and a certificate of acceptance from the LGU, on top of the usual requirements such as a travel authority from the Philippine National Police and a medical clearance certificate from the city/municipal health office. (PNA)