BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Negros Occidental Provincial Incident Management Team is bracing for the arrival of about 800 to 1,000 locally stranded individuals from Manila and Cebu tomorrow.
PIMT chief Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian said yesterday that there will be three additional flights tomorrow, and they are now preparing the quarantine facilities for the LSIs who will arrive.
Caelian said they will transfer Covid patients to the EB Magalona healing center, while the Silay quarantine center will be reserved for arriving LSIs, since the isolation facilities of the different local government units are also nearing full capacity, if not already full.
Aside from LSIs, the province is also expecting the influx of returning overseas Filipino workers, who are not covered by the moratorium requested by various LGUs of Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, and approved by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force in Western Visayas.
About half of the 32 LGUs of Negros Occidental have declared moratorium on the return of their LSIs. These include Ilog, Bago, La Carlota, Sagay, Pontevedra, Himamaylan, Victorias, Calatrava, Cauayan, Hinobaan, La Castellana, Candoni, Moises Padilla, Valladolid, Sipalay, and Murcia.
“We expect our main ports and the airport to be swarmed by returning residents,” Caelian said.
With the suspension of flights from Manila and Cebu to Bacolod on Dec. 24 and 25, as well as Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson approved the requests of Philippine Air Lines and Cebu Pacific for additional flights on Dec. 20. Caelian said the PIMT already prepared two passenger buses to transport LSIs to various quarantine facilities.*