Gov’t to provide aid for LSIs in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Interagency task force (IATF) will help the locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in Cebu City for the duration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), who is currently in Cebu City to assess the COVID-19 situation here, said that they cannot allow the LSIs to leave the city just yet.
This he said despite the plea of almost 200 LSIs currently in Cebu City awaiting the certification to allow them to leave the city after losing their jobs due to the ECQ.
“The reason why we temporarily suspended the movement of LSIs in Cebu City kasi hindi rin sila tatangapin ng mga LGUs (local government units) na pupuntahan nila. They will be placed under quarantine. So at least dito, wala namang inconvenience. At least dito, nakaquarantine na sila,” said Año.
(The reason why we temporarily suspended the movement of LSIs in Cebu City is because they will still not be accepted by the LGUs they’re going to. They will be placed under quarantine. So at least here, there’s no inconvenience. At least here, they are quarantined.)
Still, the DILG will be working with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to help trace these individuals and provide them with food supplies while the city remains under ECQ.
For the long-term solution, the DILG is now working on returning the LSIs in bulk, similar to their Project Balik Probinsya.
This way, once the LSIs return to their hometowns, they will automatically be accepted and all necessary accommodations and food will be ready.
Año assured the public that President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the IATF that all LSIs will be taken cared of.
No Sap for residents
Meanwhile, even if Cebu City will remain under the ECQ, the government can no longer provide a third tranche of the Special Ammelioration Program (SAP).
Año said that the SAP is only worth two months, and no third tranche will follow.
Still, the DSWD and LGU will be working together to provide for the families who are heavily affected by the ECQ.
He assured that the DSWD has the budget to provide aide to the affected residents, although he did not specify how this aid will be distributed and in what form. /bmjo
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