Let people return to provinces – LMP

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — People from Metro Manila should be allowed to return to their provinces amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) said yesterday.

LMP president and Narvacan Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson said the proposal, if approved by the national government, would help ease the burden of health workers in Metro Manila.

Singson said local government units in the provinces could help treat COVID-19 patients from Metro Manila.

“Pigilan mo... lalong dadami sa Metro Manila. Kung pauuwin sa mga iba-ibang probinsya, ang iba-ibang probinsya ang gagamot sa kanila,” Singson said during the Laging Handa press briefing.

He said lockdowns are not feasible given the need to keep businesses going to revive the economy.

Singson cited the case in his town, where there has been no active COVID-19 case. He said returnees are required to undergo home quarantine for 14 days and are strictly monitored by health workers. Those with COVID-19 symptoms are immediately brought to hospitals for treatment.

“Hindi na kami gumagamit ng quarantine area dahil mahirap i-trace kung nag-positive,” Singson said.

Meanwhile, League of Cities of the Philippines chairman and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said local chief executives want to retain a negative swab test result as a requirement for travelers.

In a recent meeting of the Union of Local Authorities, Leonardia said local government officials stressed the need for a uniform rule for locally stranded individuals (LSIs), foreign workers, tourists and authorized persons outside residence.

He noted that the surge in COVID-19 cases in Bacolod was traced to LSIs.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases removed mandatory swab tests and quarantine as it standardized travel requirements.  –  Gilbert Bayoran


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