LSIs’ travel to 3 Mindanao provinces suspended 

PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa has suspended the issuance of the 15-day Travel Authority by the National Capital Region Police Office to Locally Stranded Individuals or LSIs bound for Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Camiguin, the head of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield announced yesterday.

Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said the suspension of the issuance of Travel Authority to the LSIs came amid the decision of Defense Secretary and National Task Force Against COVID-19 chairman Delfin Lorenzana to suspend the repatriation of LSIs from Metro Manila to the three Mindanao provinces.

Secretary Lorenzana’s move came amid a request from Basilan Governor Hataman Jim Salliman, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., and Camiguin Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo to suspend the repatriation of LSIs headed to their respective provinces.

Camiguin is in Region 10 in Northern Mindanao while Lanao del Sur and Basilan are situated in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

“Based on the approval of the NTF COVID-19, the suspension of repatriation for these provinces is for 15 days beginning July 1,” said Lt. Gen. Eleazar.

The official said that in most cases, the request for suspension of repatriation is because the quarantine facilities in the provinces have reached their maximum capacity.

Based on the JTF COVID Shield and PNP protocol, the Station Commanders, Chiefs of Police, District Directors, the Regional Director of the National Capital Region Police Office and the Director for Operations of the PNP are allowed to issue Travel Authority for travels outside Metro Manila.

The requirement for the issuance of Travel Authority are Medical Clearance Certificates and the coordination with the receiving Local Government Units.

Aside from the three provinces, the issuance of Travel Authority remains suspended for LSIs going to Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas.

The travel ban for Eastern Visayas started on June 25 while the same ban took effect for Western Visayas starting June 28 along with Cebu Island and Mactan Island in Region 7.   

 Eleazar said they will wait for the instruction from the NTF COVID-19 before the termination of the travel ban in Eastern Visayas on July 9 and in Western Visayas, Cebu Island and Mactan Island on July 12.

All LSI travels going to and out of Cebu City, on the other hand, remain suspended indefinitely as the area is still under the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander said.