TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 10 (PIA) –- The Tulong Hatid Program has facilitated free travel for 66 Boholanos who originated from Manila as more locally stranded individuals (LSI) are set to arrive here on Sunday.
A project initiative of the Office of the President and administered by the Presidential Management Staff through Executive Director Joseph Encabo, Tulong Hatid Program provides free transportation and a small traveling allowance to those stranded in Metro Manila due to lockdowns and travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
All those who are in the program have to undergo preventive measures to avoid local transmission of the disease.
That means all LSI beneficiaries had to obtain negative results in their rapid antibody diagnostic testing for COVID-19 before they boarded the buses or boats to their home destinations, to ensure that stringent health protocols to halt the spread of the dreaded disease are followed.
In an interview last week, Bohol League of Municipalities President and Dauis Mayor Marietta Tocmo-Sumaylo said the first Tulong Hatid by air would land in Bohol on Sunday, July 12, although she has not obtained the number of LSIs arriving yet.
Sumaylo, who also personally met the 174 LSIs who took the sweeper flight on July 5, said she facilitated for eight free tickets for Boholanos who took the Air Asia flight to Bohol.
At the airport arrival holding area, Sumaylo reminded LSIs to go directly to their LGU Isolation Facilities, which she said has basic amenities which the LGUs could provide.
“If ever you would still need more to be comfortable in the facility, call your relatives and have them send you what you wish to make your 14-day quarantine bearable,” she urged.
July 5 was also the send-off date for LSIs for Northern and Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao as the government facilitated the bus transport for Luzon and some Visayan LSIs, boat trips for Visayas and Mindanao and this week, air trips for the remaining LSIs who intend to go home safely.
By 5:00 p.m. of July 5, a total of 25 Boholano LSIs boarded the Philippine Coast Guard Multi-Role Rescue Vessel (MRRV) 4401 which left North Harbor’s Pier 15 in Manila at 5:00 p.m. and arrived here at 5:00 a.m. on July 7.
On July 6 at 5:00 a.m., from North Harbor’s Pier 15, Department of Agriculture’s Multi-Mission Offshore Vessel (MMOV 5501) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) BRP Lapulapu sailed off to Bohol carrying in its officers’ decks some 41 Boholano LSIs and arrived here on July 8 at 6:00 a.m..
With a shortage of available transportation due to the lockdowns, Tulong Hatid has to use government assets when transportation is not yet available.
For this, the program has commissioned PCG MRRVs and BFARs MMOVs to ferry the stranded individuals especially that the no-sail policy is still in effect for non-authorized persons.
Meanwhile, 72 LSIs from Mandaue City and other parts of Cebu except Talisay City and Cebu City boarded Lite Ferry 1 which sailed to Bohol on July 6 at 11:30 p.m..
Other than the 72 LSIs, 12 Overseas Filipino Workers also took the same ferry which docked in Tagbilaran Port Bohol on July 7 at 5:30 a.m. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)