Some 452 locally stranded individuals (LSIs), who are residents of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, arrived at the Bredco port here aboard 2GO Travel’s St. Michael of Archangel on Tuesday night.
The returning residents traveled from Metro Manila for free through the national government’s “Hatid Tulong” initiative.
They included 52 Bacolodnons and 400 Negrenses from various towns and cities of the province. Three authorized persons outside residence (APORs) from the Philippine National Police also arrived with the group.
Councilor Cindy Rojas, chair of Bacolod City action team on non-overseas Filipino workers returning residents, said the city government facilitated the quarantine of 52 LSIs.
They were picked up by two buses and immediately brought to a quarantine facility, she said.
On Wednesday, all the “Hatid Tulong” beneficiaries in Bacolod underwent a swab test for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and once their negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results are released, they will be sent home.
If their results will be released before they finish the mandatory 14-day quarantine, they will be required to finish the remainder of the quarantine period under strict home quarantine.
The rest, who are from Negros Occidental, have been endorsed to the provincial government and their respective local government units.
The “Hatid Tulong” intends to help stranded individuals affected by Covid-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions return to their provinces. LSIs without plane or ship bookings are put on the priority list.
Those who went home to Bacolod and Negros Occidental were part of the 9,000 LSIs sent off by the national government in the past days.
Meanwhile, sweeper flights bringing home overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Metro Manila continue to arrive at the Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City, the latest of which landed early Wednesday morning.
The flights of OFWs are being arranged by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. (PNA)