Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said Thursday that more than 4,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) were accommodated and assisted by the Philippine Army (PA) in a facility situated at its headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
As of July 23, Gapay said that a total of 4,496 LSIs have been accommodated at the Philippine Army Wellness Center (PAWC). 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.
Each LSI underwent profiling, prior to their accommodation, 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 COVID-19 were transported to different medical facilities.
Meanwhile, stranded individuals residing within the National Capital Region were immediately accompanied to their places of residence by PA personnel.
The LSIs were also given hygiene kits, face shields, face masks, and sleeping mats before proceeding to their assigned sleeping areas. Kids were given milk and diapers, along with food packs. To be properly monitored, persons with a disability and pregnant women were transferred to the Army General Hospital.
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 Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) before being sent off to their respective flight schedules. (PNA)