Northbound Philippines News

Over 1,600 stranded in the Cordillera back home

BAGUIO CITY – A total of 1,633 locally stranded individuals who were unable to go home during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon have been reunited with their families.

Director Marlo Iringan, of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera Administrative Region (DILG-CAR), said some 2,493 have registered for the assistance program. A total of 473 are still in the process of securing requirements such as medical certificates and travel authority while 387 are still undecided.

As of June 12, the 1,633 stranded individuals have reached their destinations. Of this number, 1,064 persons are from Cordillera provinces while 569 are from outside the region.

Iringan, also the chair of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF), said 340 are students, 577 are workers, 76 are tourists, while the rest falls under various categories.

Those who availed of the program sought the assistance of local government units in compliance to a DILG memorandum circular that sets up the help desks to help the LSIs and overseas Filipino workers. The help desks also served as one-stop-shop for the management of LSIs at the local level.

Iringan said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Cordillera also assisted 710 OFWs, with 563 of them at the quarantine facility in Teachers Camp here, which was established for residents of Baguio, Benguet and Mountain Province.

The OWWA also received 2,939 applications for financial assistance with 1,842 already endorsed to the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to receive PHP10,000 under the DOLE-AKAP program.

DOLE-AKAP is a program for sea-based and land-based OFWs who were displaced due to the pandemic. It is the counterpart of the PHP5,000 Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for displaced workers in the country.

Aside from the national government programs, the assistance provided to stranded LSIs and OFWs was also made possible through the initiatives of the LGUs such as “Oplan Sumaar” of Mountain Province, “Oplan Gawid” of Ifugao, “Oplan Mahuli ne Wahi” of Apayao, Returning Baguio Residents, and “Oplan Mangulin” of Kalinga.

“Even with the challenges being encountered in assisting LSIs like limited resources such as vehicles to fetch and ferry LSIs, and limited time for coordination with concerned offices and LGUs, the DILG-CAR continues to harmonize its efforts with other regional line agencies and LGUs in order to provide timely services during this tough times,” Iringan said. Liza Agoot / PNA –

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