BAGUIO CITY--55 Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) from Apayao, Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mt. Province have arrived safely in their respective provinces through the Hatid Tulong Initiative (HTI) Batch 2 program of the government last July 26-28, 2020.

The HTI is a government-wide effort program led by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to provide transportation assistance to LSIs stranded in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby areas during the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on March 15, 2020.

“These are trying times for everyone and we are happy that our LSIs are able to arrive home safely. We would like to ensure the public that there shall be proper coordination between the local government units (LGUs) and the individuals throughout the process. We also remind our returning individuals as well as the general public to be compliant with the health protocols and guidelines to minimize the spread of the virus and to ensure the safety of the provinces,” says DILG Cordillera Regional Director Marlo Iringan.

The 55 LSI s from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have undergone rapidtests as a requirement during the Grand Send Off at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Ground, Malate, Manila last July 26, 2020.

HTI had set up a One Stop Shop at the PSC ground premises to facilitate the rapidtest and processing of travel authority. LSIs who tested positive in the rapid tests were immediately isolated and will undergo swab testing for revalidation. Fortunately, all LSIs bound for CAR tested negative in the rapid test.

Although cleared to travel at the Grand Send Off in Manila, LSIs were strictly subjected to health quarantine protocols in their receiving local governments. They are now undergoing the 14-day quarantine in the quarantine facilities. The first batch with 47 LSIs availed the program last July 6, 2020.