San Jose-Antique – Conducting the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR on departing Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) will no longer be required.
An Advisory issued on August 25, 2020 by DILG Assistant Secretary Marcelo Morales reiterating the requirements provided for Locally-Stranded Individuals (LSIs) emphasized that the required testing using the Rapid Test is no longer advisable. Hence, the imposition of the RT-PCR test prior to departure should not be implemented as this runs contrary to the provision of the Refined Policy Guidelines on the Management of LSIs which only require a Medical Clearance Certificate and Travel Authority.
Meanwhile, as a safety net for the receiving localities, the joint Advisory of the Western Visayas Regional Task Force (WVRTF) dated July 22, 2020 prescribes that LSIs should secure a Notice of Coordination from the LGU where they are destined. The RT-PCR test may be done at the receiving LGUs as part of their local health protocol. It is the receiving LGUs, and not the LSI, that must shoulder the RT-PCR testing.
“This will help ease the burden of our LSIs because requiring them rapid diagnostic tests incurs additional cost on their part and causes delays in securing the necessary documents for them to go home”, explained DILG Antique Provincial Director Cherryl P. Tacda.
In the event that the LGU no longer has the testing capacity, a request can be channeled to the National Task Force through the Regional Task Force, headed by the Office of the Civil Defense, for resource augmentation.
“Over 9,000 LSIs have arrived in the Province of Antique as of August 27, 2020 and more are expected to arrive”, said DILG Antique Provincial Focal Person Darrelle Thea Abad.
All Local Chief Executives are enjoined to comply with these requirements for LSIs, and ensure the unhampered travel from the ports of disembarkation to the final LGU destination.