Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, on Friday, revealed locally stranded individuals (LSIs) are riding cargo ships and trucks to return to their provinces untraced by the local government.
Año said they would implement stricter guidelines for the operation of cargo ships and trucks after they learned the situation.
In a radio interview, Año said the LSIs or what he referred to as “guerillas” are not informing local authorities regarding their travel after obtaining the required documents. The LSIs instead would just board cargo ships and trucks to go home.
“Pagkuha niya ng medical certificate at travel pass, hindi na siya makikipag-coordinate sa pamahalaan kung paano pupunta doon. Sasakay siya sa mga cargo ships, cargo trucks, babayaran niya ‘yung crew para pasakayin siya. Pagdating niya sa lugar, hindi na siya magchecheck-in sa LGU, uuwi na siya, doon nagsimula ‘yun na mag-spike,” Año explained.
(When he got a medical certificate and a travel pass, he would not coordinate with the government on how to get there. He would ride on cargo ships, cargo trucks, he would pay the crew to board him. When he arrives in the area, he will not check-in at the LGU, he’ll be home, and that’s where the spike begins.)
“Mga cargo ships ang mga sinakyan. Kaya nga maghihigpit din kami sa mga cargo ships, huwag kayong magsasakay na hindi naman ‘yan talaga kasama sa manifesto ninyo kasi mananagot kayo,” he added.
(They were boarded in cargo ships. So we will also restrict cargo ships. Do not let anyone who is not really included in your manifesto because you would be held responsible.)
The DILG chief also ordered the temporary suspension of the issuance of travel authority to LSIs going to Eastern Visayas. Año said local chief executives had requested to “declog” first their quarantine facilities before receiving new LSIs in their provinces.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization stated in its report that the increase of COVID-19 cases among repatriated OFWs and stranded individuals is due to the government’s “poor adherence” to quarantine protocols.” “Many new cases reported among repatriated [OFWs] and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) [was] due to poor adherence to proper prevention measures during the mandatory quarantine period,” WHO said.