(UPDATED) Stranded individuals are required to present only two documents to their local governments to be able to return home, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Saturday, May 23.
One is a medical certificate and the other is a travel authority, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.
“Ito lang po ang dalawang dokumento doon sa lugar na saan kayo uuwi, tatanggapin po kayo ng local government unit kapag mayroon po kayo nitong dalawang dokumento na ito,” he said.
Malaya said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año has directed all police stations to set up help desks for locally stranded individuals (LSI) and returning overseas Filipino workers.
“Maraming fake news na kumakalat kung paano po ang proseso sa paghingi ng travel authority--nililinaw ko lang po sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan, dalawa lang po iyong kailangan ninyong ihanda na document, ‘yung medical certificate at iyong travel authority,” he added.
Malaya said that the medical certificate, which may be secured from municipal health offices, would attest that the holder has not contracted the novel coronavirus, or Sars-CoV-2, nor has he had any contact with a confirmed case.
“Ito pong medical certificate ay makukuha ninyo sa inyong municipal or city health office. ‘Di po kayo kailangan magpa-rapid test or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test,” Malaya said.
The certificate will be issued only after the stranded individual has completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
If the stranded individual had contracted the virus and developed the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the certificate will be issued only after two negative RT-PCR test results.
A stranded individual who has been issued a medical certificate may proceed to a police station to apply for a travel authority.
Lieutenant General Guillermo Salazar, commander of the Joint Task Force Covid Shield, urged LSIs and returning OFWs to follow the rules to avoid being denied passage at quarantine control points (QCPs).
Ealeazar said once an individual has secured the medical clearance, he could go to the following for the issuance of travel authority.
· Chief of Police of the City/Municipality of origin, if destination is within the province;
· Provincial Police Director or City Police Director of the Province/City of origin, if destination is within the region; and
· Police Regional Director of the region of origin, if destination is outside the region.
Eleazar said that if the city/municipality of destination as well as of the origin are adjacent to each other and located at the boundaries of two different provinces or regions, the chief of police of the city/municipality of origin can issue the travel authority.
“Alternatively, the LSI may also choose to secure the Travel Authority from higher headquarters, up to the national level of the JTF COVID Shield. The issuing authority can delegate the role of approving a Travel Authority to a focal Officer on his behalf,” he said.
Once the necessary coordination is done by the police commanders, the LSI applicants will be notified through text messages or email that their application for Travel Authority is already approved and ready for pick up or they may also print it themselves if they received it through email.
Under Memorandum No. 2020-02 of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, stranded Filipino local workers, students, local or foreign tourists, individuals stranded in various localities while in transit, and other stranded individuals are eligible to come home. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo and Jove T. Moya/SunStar Philippines)