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Provinces league calls for redefinition of LSIs amid returnee surge

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The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) on Saturday called on the Inter-Agency Task Force to change the definition of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) by making it more exclusive amid the surge of returnees.

In an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, LPP President and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco said that individuals must meet certain requirements to classify as LSIs.

“[H]inihiling po namin sa IATF... ay baguhin ‘yung depinisyon ng LSI. Na ang nakalagay po doon ay ‘yung LSI ay ‘yung may pamilya lang na may nakatira po dito sa lalawigan. Either ‘yung asawa o ‘yung anak o kung single ay ‘yung parents niya atsaka anak,” Velasco said.

“So ang sinusugpo po ng LPP diyan sa IATF na ganon po ang depenisyon para malimit po ‘yung bumabalik and talaga pong mag-stay put dito for a while,” he added.

The LPP also proposed that LSIs should be required to stay for at least two months in the receiving city.

“And nire-request po namin na may undertaking din po ‘yung LSI na two months ay titigil, at least two months titigil po sa receiving LGU,” he said.

According to Velasco, LSIs should also take an RT-PCR or rapid test for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), saying that LSIs were only required to have a medical certificate that proved they were home-quarantined for 14 days.

The LPP president said they are looking to provide the returnees with jobs and loans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sinabi na sa amin at syempre po ay medyo bagsak ‘yung economy natin at maraming walang trabaho, marami po ‘yung LSI na bumabalik, OFWs. So, ‘yung pinag-aaralan po ng mga local governments kung ano ‘yung mga trabahong maibibigay at… may hinahanda po kaming mga loan,” Velasco said.

“So talaga tinutukan namin ‘yung pagbibigay ng trabaho, pag-papatibay ng mga trabaho nila para kumita at ‘yung gustong mag negosyo ay bibigyan po namin ng mga loan. Hindi anman ho sobrang laki but tingin po namin ay supisyente naman,” he added. — DVM, GMA News

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