By Dhel Nazario
Pasay City’s chief executive has called on fellow mayors of other localities to accommodate the return of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who came from their cities but were stranded in the vicinity of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
In a statement released on Saturday, Mayor Emi-Calixto Rubiano said that she spoke with Department of Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG NCR) Director Maria Lourdes Agustin and found out that some local government units (LGUs) are not ready to accept stranded persons who are going home.
“Sabi ko, dapat tanggapin, kasi napag-usapan na iyan sa National Task Force … tutal, bago iyan nakakuha ng travel pass ay meron nang medical certificate mula sa syudad na pinanggalingan,” she said.
(I told them that they should be accepted because this was talked about in the National Task Force…since before they acquired a travel pass, they had to have a medical certificate from the city they came from.)
“Yung mga LGU na nandito sa NCR, o sa Region 3, o Region 4 na pinaggalingan nitong mga na-stranded, sana ay tanggapin muna pabalik sa kanilang syudad yung mga nagpunta rito pero hindi pa makakabiyahe lalo na kung ang flight nila ay matagal-tagal pa,” the mayor added.
(I hope the LGUs here in NCR or in Region 3 or Region 4 where these LSIs originated from will accept them when they return, especially those whose flights are scheduled at a further date.)
More than 400 LSIs are now temporarily staying at the Villamor Air Base Elementary School (VABES) and Philippine State College of Aeronautics (PHILSCA) after they were transferred there from under the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway as they wait for the schedule of their flights to their provinces.
Food and some other essentials are provided to them by the Pasay government and National Government Agencies (NGAs), and including Civic Groups.
“Nung nag-umpisa iyang pagdagsa ng mga tao sa bisinidad ng NAIA dahil nga gustong-gusto na nilang makauwi sa kanilang probinsya pero hindi naman agad sila nakakabiyahe, talagang nagtulungan na po agad ang national at lokal na pamahalaan at pati ang mga pribadong civic groups upang ang ating mga nasi-stranded na kababayan ay matulungan,” said Calixto-Rubiano.
(When the surge of LSIs eager to go home to their provinces went to the vicinity of NAIA, the national and local government as well as private civic groups joined together to help the stranded.)
These stranded persons comprise OFWs who have returned to the country and those who want to go home to their provinces but were not able to do so when the quarantine was imposed and travels were suspended, according to the city.
Calixto-Rubiano said, “Nakipag-usap ako kay MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal at kay DILG NCR Director Maria Lourdes Agustin. Sabi ko, sana ay merong announcement through TV, radio, social media and other means of disseminating information, na yung mga walang ticket, sabihang wag na munang pumunta. At para naman sa kapakanan nung mga may ticket, i-anounce sana nung airline companies kung may flight cancellation, or tawagan nila yung ticket holder and inform them na cancelled ang flight nila.”
(I spoke with MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal and DILG NCR Director Maria Lourdes Agustin. I told them that there should be announcements made through TV, radio, social media and other means of disseminating information, and those without tickets should be told not to come yet. And those with tickets, the airline companies should announce if there are flight cancellations or call the ticket holder and inform them of their cancelled flight.)