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Lanao del Sur governor asks IATF for break from returning LSIs


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Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. on Tuesday called on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to temporarily stop issuing travel passes to locally stranded individuals (LSIs) enroute to the province.

In an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, Adiong asked that the province be allowed to refuse LSIs until the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the province was lifted on October 31.

“Kung puwede hanggang October 31 hindi muna kami tatanggap ng mga LSI. Kaya ‘yun ang panawagan namin sa national IATF na huwag muna sila magbigay ng mga travel pass sa mga kababayan namin,” Adiong said.

The governor also asked the IATF to limit the number of arrivals to 75.

“Pagkatapos ng MECQ, hanggang October 31 ‘yan, puwede silang mag release ng travel pass. Pero kung puwede nating iregulate. ‘Wag naman ‘yung ganoon karami, pati ‘yung isang buong place, napupuno ng Lanao del Sur,” Adiong said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday placed Lanao del Sur under MECQ.

The Provincial Government had already placed the province under MECQ in early September.

Adiong said the flow of LSIs did not stop. However, he said their number decreased from a maximum of 300 per day to 50.

The governor said the Lanao del Sur's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases surged due to the arrival of LSIs in June after almost three months of zero cases.

“[P]ag pasok ng programa ng LSI, doon pa lang nag start ‘yung mag sitaas, ‘yung magkakaroon kami ulit ng kaso. Kaya sa ngayon, ‘yung ang hinihiling namin sa national IATF, na wala muna talagang dumating,” Adiong said.

“Hayaan muna natin makapag-pahinga ‘yung mga frontliners natin… kasi medyo alarming na kasi ‘yung nangyayari dahil kung maapektuhan lahat ng, lahat ng frontliners natin, hindi na namin alam kung sino pa ang magiging frontlinres ng Lanao del Sur,” he added.

More than 15,000 LSIs have arrived in Lanao del Sur, according to Adiong.

He also expressed alarm over the worsening condition of the Amay Pakpak Medical Center.

“At pati ‘yung medical center namin, ‘yung Amay Pakpak Medical Center, nao-overwhelm na. Medyo dumadami na. Sa ngayon ang kaso is nasa 60 plus umabot na ‘yata ng 72 at ang namatay ang pinakamarami ngayong September,” he said.

This is why the governor welcomed the extension of the MECQ, adding that they have created an executive order on the guidelines that will be implemented.

Adiong said the province would prohibit events with mass gathering. Restaurants would be closed to dine-in patrons but open for takeouts.

“Then ‘yung mga essential na ano bukas talaga yan. ‘Yung mga construction, bukas, ‘yung mga hardwares bukas pati ‘yung mas gathering sa loob ng mosque inallow din namin yun pero 50 percent,” he said.

“Yung mga hindi sumusunod… pinapasara namin ‘yung ano, ‘yung masjid. Pero wala pa namang nangyayari. Karamihan naman sumusnod,” he added.

He said the province would also stop the operations of public transportation including tricycles.

Meanwhile, each household will be given one quarantine pass that may only be used when buying food, medicine, or during emergencies.

“Gusto ko lang sabihin sa mga kababayan ko na nasa ibang probinsya, ibang lungsod na kapag uuwi kayo kailangan kumpleto yung papeles. Pero sa ngayon sa MECQ hindi muna kami tatanggap ng mga umuuwi,” Adiong said. -Joahna Lei Casilao/NB, GMA News

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