LSI trips to resume next month

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    THE government intends to resume sending locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to their provinces this October and complete the program before the Christmas holidays.

    Presidential Management Staff Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo, the lead convener of the Hatid Tulong initiative, said the government will resume the program once the moratorium of accepting LSIs had been lifted in some provinces.

    Encabo said the government is also waiting for the availability of buses and ships that would be used by the LSIs.

    He said there are an estimated 500 LSIs under the Hatid Tulong program that would be sent off to different areas, most of them in the Visayas and Mindanao.

    Some regions and provinces had imposed a temporary moratorium on the acceptance of LSIs earlier this month due to the rising number of isolated suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in their areas, the rising number of infected patients, and the lockdowns implemented in certain areas.

    There are 61 LSIs at the CCP composed of those bound for Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Cotabato, Davao City, and different provinces in Mindanao.

    The LSIs were either stranded in Metro Manila due to the lockdowns, stranded in the provinces near Metro Manila also due to the community quarantines implemented, and people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and want to return to their provinces