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Parents told: Don't fetch students stranded in NCR, government will bring them home

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Parents told: Don't fetch students stranded in NCR, government will bring them home
This May 1, 2020 photos shows the University of the Philippines Los Baños bringing stranded students back to their hometowns.
UPLB Community Affairs

MANILA, Philippines — Parents living in the provinces will not be allowed to fetch their children stranded in their schools and dormitories in Metro Manila, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Wednesday.

During Laging Handa briefing, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in Filipino: “Even if they (parents) want to, they cannot personally fetch [their children] because we have a stay-at-home policy.”

Even if parents will be coming from their province placed under General Community Quarantine—where some protocols have been relaxed—they will still be barred from entering the National Capital Region, Malaya said.

The DILG spokesperson stressed: “You will be stopped at checkpoints because what you are doing is not allowed.”

Malaya said that parents worrying about their children may contact the National Housing Authority that leads the program for ferrying students back to their home provinces.

Roque previously said that the NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. will serve as the executive director of the goverment’s “Balik Probinsya Program.”

Last May 5, President Rodrigo Duterte reported to the Congress that the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus left 9,367 students in schools and dormitories nationwide.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday that the president will provide assistance to students stuck in their dormitories and want to go home, through the Hatid Estudyante Program.

Aid for their transportation and food will also be given to the students, Roque added.

The Department of Transportation earlier set up an online platform where students can enrol in the Hatid Estudyante Program.

Even before the government decided to implement the program, the University of the Philippines Los Baños had taken initiative to send its stranded students home. 

The national government on Tuesday announced that outbreak epicenter Metro Manila, neighboring Laguna province and Cebu City in Central Visayas will be placed under “modified” enhanced community quarantine until May 31.  — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico

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