The city government is ready to accept returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) as it continues to increase the bed capacity of its quarantine facilities.
As of 1 p.m. Monday, the city’s quarantine facility tracker showed that 340 of the 863 total beds are still available.
Over the weekend, the city government had to open additional quarantine facilities to accommodate the ROFs whose arrival was not coordinated with the local government here.
“The assumption was that all OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) should be placed in a hotel. I was surprised that there were no more available rooms,” Mayor Jerry Treñas said in a press conference Monday.
Treñas added that during the 14-day moratorium that was imposed by the city government, all ROFs and LSIs from the province of Iloilo and other neighboring provinces were billeted in a hotel here.
The more than 2,000 hotel rooms in the city were thus filled up.
The mayor said he will be issuing an executive order for hotels in this city to cater only to residents of the metropolis.
Also on August 22, a sweeper flight carrying over 100 passengers from Manila was canceled due to the health protocol requirement that was set by the local government for incoming LSIs.
During a meeting with representatives of the Philippine Airlines and the Cebu Pacific on August 24, he told them to contact the local government first to determine this city’s absorptive capacity.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF), Treñas urged the Department of Health (DOH) to fast-track the release of laboratory results as most of those staying in hotels are still waiting for the result of their reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.
Treñas was informed by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) that two more flights are coming within the day, but they have no breakdown yet of the passengers. (PNA)