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To avoid ‘double handling,’ gov’t relies on LGUs for swab tests of LSIs —Galvez

The national government is relying on local government units (LGU) accepting locally stranded individuals (LSI) to subject their returning residents to swab tests for COVID-19, an official said Thursday.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the national action plan against COVID-19, said the national government is in coordination with LGUs, which he said have their own "initiatives" because they have the capacity to test.

"Ang lahat po ng ating mga regions ay meron na pong mga testing capacities, so para po hindi magkaroon ng tinatawag nating double handling, ang ginagawa po ng ating mga LGUs is nag-aallocate na po sila ng quota para sa ating mga LSIs," Galvez said at a press briefing in Quezon City.

Apart from testing, local governments also make returning LSIs undergo a 14-day quarantine, he said.

"'Yung ating mga LGU ay mga sigurista po, kaya gusto po nila na pagdating ng ating mga LSIs sa kanilang mga lugar ay talagang clear na talagang wala po silang COVID," Galvez said.

In June, Galvez's deputy, testing czar Vince Dizon, said swab tests were soon going to be mandatory for locally stranded Filipinos.

Thousands of LSIs gathered at the baseball stadium of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex over the weekend as they prepared to return to their provinces. They were reportedly scheduled to be brought home after undergoing a rapid test.

Meanwhile, to manage COVID-19 cases, Galvez urged LGUs, private companies, and citizens to "share the responsibility" with the national government through localized lockdowns and the observance of minimum health standards. — BM, GMA News