112 ‘Balik Probinsya’ beneficiaries in Leyte undergo Covid-19 testing

(Photo courtesy of PIA-8)

A TOTAL of 112 beneficiaries of the government’s “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program” went through swab collection process for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after they arrived in Palo, Leyte on Thursday evening, May 21.

The beneficiaries also submitted themselves to interview and documentation before they were transported back to the isolation facilities in their respective municipalities while waiting for the swab test results.

If they tested negative for Sars-CoV-2, the pathogen which causes Covid-19, they will be allowed to go home to their families but they will be advised to complete the 14-day quarantine.

“The Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa Program is a timely intervention of the government to address perennial issues of joblessness, overpopulation, crime, and other social menaces that have contributed to the decay of other cities,” said Brigadier General Bernabe Balba, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Eastern Visayas.

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Executive Order No. 114, institutionalizing the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program”, Balba disclosed the amended guidelines in the issuance of travel order authority to Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

The chief of police will be the issuing authority of travel order for LSI or ROF from his barangay of origin moving to another barangay of his destination within the same municipality.

For LSI or ROF from his municipality of origin moving to another municipality or city of his destination belonging to the same province, the issuing authority will be the provincial police director.

The regional police director will also be the issuing authority for LSI or ROF from his province of origin moving to another province of his destination or from his region of origin moving to another region of his destination.

The said document will serve as ready reference in case of contact tracing.

The first batch of “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program” beneficiaries were from the municipalities of Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, Dagami, Burauen, Tabontabon, Julita, Dulag, Mayorga, Abuyog, Javier, MacArthur, Hilongos, Bato, Matalom, Tunga, Carigara, Jaro, Babatngon, Barugo, Capoocan, Alangalang, Kananga, Matag-ob, Palompon, Tabango, Villaba, Calubian, San Isidro, Albuera, Merida, and Baybay City.

Balba said that in this time of pandemic, it is the duty of the government to ensure that Filipino families are safe and in place.

The other requirements for the issuance of travel authority from the local government unit of origin through its local Covid-19 task force include medical clearance certificate issued by City or Municipal Health Office based on the following conditions for LSI:

· That the LSIs is neither a contact, suspect, or probable or confirmed Covid-19 case

· That the LSI completed a 14-day quarantine based on the quarantine standards set by the Department of Health (DOH)

· That LSI confirmed as Covid-19 case was tested negative through reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) twice.

Also, certification from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) for ROFs and Covid-19 negative RT-PCR results; list of LSIs/ROFs; point of origin and their destination; travel date; and name of drivers and vehicles to be used with plate numbers.

PRO-Eastern Visayas ordered that offices or units issuing the travel authority shall forward a copy of the document and the list of LSIs/RFOs to offices or units who has jurisdiction on the final destination of LSIs or RFOs.

Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that “certificate of acceptance by the receiving LGU is not a requirement on the management” of LSI.

“Only the medical clearance certification issued by the City/Municipal Health Officer and travel authority issued by the Joint Task Force CV Shield are required to be presented upon the arrival to the concerned receiving LGU,” said DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco Densing III in his advisory on Friday. (SunStar Philippines)


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