Close to 4K residents return to Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY – Close to 4,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) returning to Ilocos Norte have been assisted by the provincial government and the number keeps on increasing daily, said Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc on Tuesday.

The provincial government continues to assist returning residents and facilitate the reunion with their families after completing a 14-day quarantine in local government unit accredited facilities.

The record shows that from March 30 to July 19, a total of 3,803 returning residents were assisted.

Meanwhile, Pagudpud temporarily stopped the entry of LSIs until they can control the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the area. As of July 19, the town has two confirmed positive cases.

Manotoc said the province has to accept LSIs that are on schedule to pass through the provincial borders.

“I think our capacities are strong enough but we have to be very careful. As of this time, I think it’s not necessary to hold our LSIs,” he said when asked if the province has plans to place Ilocos Norte under enhanced community quarantine again due to increasing Covid-19 cases.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown was lifted, Cipriano Martinez, consultant of the Provincial Economic Group of Ilocos Norte, earlier reported that they have special trips from Metro Manila and Baguio City to pick up stranded displaced workers, students and local tourists.

To avail of the special trips arranged by the provincial government, LSIs may contact their respective LGUs to evaluate their situation.

If their request is valid, an official travel order will be prepared for them, including a police escort to facilitate their entry at border checkpoints going to their assigned quarantine destinations for 14 days.

Ilocos Norte has close to a thousand quarantine rooms available with 70-percent occupancy as of Tuesday. Leilanie Adriano /PNA – northboundasia.com