The Philippine Army (PA) has accommodated and assisted more than 4,400 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in its facilities.
Philippine Army chief, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, said as of July 23, 2020, a total of 4,496 LSIs have been accommodated at the Philippine Army Wellness Center (PAWC) located at its headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Of this number, 3,805 individuals have been assisted in returning to their respective provinces, while 258 are staying at PAWC and 433, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“The Army will continue to care for the well-being of our stranded countrymen. With the help of different donors and partners, their needs will be prioritized as they await the availability of their flights back home to their families,” Gapay said.
Before their accommodation, each LSI underwent profiling to assess their pre-existing medical conditions and cultural background.
Those who have their non-refunded airline tickets were assessed to identify their destination and their mode of transportation before rapid testing.
Individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) were transported to different medical facilities, such as the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Convention Center.
Meanwhile, stranded individuals residing within the National Capital Region were immediately accompanied to their places of residence by PA personnel.
After thorough inspection and disinfection, the LSIs were given hygiene kits, face shields, face masks, and sleeping mats before proceeding to their assigned sleeping areas.
Those with kids were also given milk and diapers, along with food packs.
Persons with disability and pregnant women were transferred to the Army General Hospital to be properly monitored.
Liaisons from different government agencies and airlines, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of the Interior and Local Government, Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia, and Philippine Airlines were also situated at PAWC to ensure effective coordination between them and the LSIs.
The PA also assists in securing travel requirements for the LSIs, such as medical certificate and travel authority.
They are also given food packs and food augmentation by the DSWD before being sent off to their respective flight schedules. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)