Isko to LSIs: Don’t risk being stranded in Manila

Isko Moreno
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno says the city government can no longer accommodate locally-stranded individuals (LSIs). Photo by JERRY S. TAN

AN urgent appeal was made by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to those availing of the government’s ‘Balik-Probinsiya Program’ not to troop to Manila without having confirmed tickets that would take them back to their respective provinces as he warned that they might only end up being stranded in the city.

In his live public broadcast, Moreno said the city government can no longer accommodate locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) as he advised them that taking chances of getting a transport without a confirmed booking while staying in the streets will do them no good.

“I have to be honest with you. Hindi na po namin kayo kayang tanggapin dahil ako ay may obligasyon pa sa mga mamamayan sa lungsod na nahihirapan din. Nakokonsumo nyo na po ang aming maliit na kakayanan and  it’s quite unfair to the people of Manila,” Moreno said as he noted a recent surge of LSIs in the city.

It was learned that  Manila had been accommodating thousands of LSIs for days now.

The latest batch consisting of at least 200 in all, were taken from Rizal Park, T.M. Kalaw and Pier area, whom the social welfare department teams thought were street dwellers or homeless people.

“Kung kayo ay maga-avail ng ‘’Balik Probinsiya Program,’ siguraduhin n’yo ang petsa, na ang tiket ay hawak nyo na at importante na kayo ay mayroon nang health clearance bago kayo magpunta ng Maynila,” he said, adding that many of the LSIs got stranded because they took chances.

Moreno said  provincial governors and mayors have been calling to  thank the city government of  Manila for being very accommodating to their citizens.

However, the city funds have been stretched to the limit.

Moreno noted that based on interviews on the LSIs gathered, they went to Manila in the hope of getting a ride home and have no confirmation whatsoever.

“We understand pero gusto naming ipaalala sa mga taga-probinsiya na gustong umuwi na may COVID virus na kumakalat ngayon kaya hindi pwede ang pagbabaka-sakali tapos maii-stock kayo sa Maynila ng ilang araw. Libo ang pinakain namin sa Pier. Ang daming natutulog sa Kalaw napagkamalan naming streetdwellers ýun pala grantees na nag-iintay ng tiket,” Moreno said.

He told the LSIs that they will be a lot safer if they remain in their homes and there wait for information from organizers of the ‘Balik Probinsiya’ program when they can be ferried to their respective provinces.

“Wag nyo ipagbakasali na nandito kayo at stranded kayo.’Wag kayo bubuhos dito. Kayo ay maaring malagay sa panganib na mahawa sa aming mga taga-Maynila at ito ay madala nyo sa probinsiya sa pagkalat at pagdi-dikit nyo. Sa kabilang banda , obligasyon kong panatiliing ligtas ang mga kababayan ko sa lungsod at maaring kayo naman ay may dalang virus din papasok naman ng Maynila,” Moreno stressed.