Navy to transport 450 locally stranded individuals to Visayas
The Philippine Navy (PN) is set to transport hundreds of locally stranded individuals bound for Visayas this week.
Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, Philippine Navy spokesman, said approximately 450 locally stranded individuals will be transported by BRP Davao Del Sur , which arrived from its five-month Middle East deployment last week.
"Prior boarding BRP Davao del Sur, these locally stranded individuals underwent strict medical screening and COVID-19 rapid testing in Pasay City in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases under Special Concerns and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Health Service Command assisted by the Chief Surgeon Navy personnel," she said.
"Six AFP vehicles were utilized to transport the processed locally stranded individuals from Villamor Golf Club in Pasay City to South Harbor, Manila. Upon arrival, the locally stranded individuals were carefully guided through registration and body temperature checking site, while their baggage were carefully inspected before being loaded at the Navy vessel," Roxas said.
"A shipboard briefing was conducted to these stranded individuals prior proceeding to their billeting area," she added.
Roxas said Davao del Sur will leave Pier 13, South Harbor on June 22.
She said the locally stranded individuals will be transported to the ports of Iloilo and Cebu.
Roxas said BRP Davao del Sur commanding officer, Capt Homer Gonzalez, assured the ship is mission ready for travel.
“It will be a 30-hour journey for our locally stranded individuals. We will ensure that it will be a safe and convenient travel for them,” Gonzalez said.
PN Flag Officer In Command, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo considered this humanitarian mission of BRP Davao del Sur to "have the biggest number of LSIs transported in a single voyage by a Navy vessel so far."
Roxas said Bacordo vowed to devote PN personnel and assets to alleviate the sufferings of our countrymen during these times.
"Your Philippine Navy will continue to exert tremendous efforts in providing support to our fellow Filipinos who are at most risk of the challenges brought by this pandemic," Bacordo said.
Col. Ramon Zagala, Philippine Army spokesman said presently the PA is accomodating 364 LSIs at their facilities.
"We are already reaching full capacity because more locally stranded individuals were arriving than those who were leaving, for now we are utilizing two areas, the Philippine Army gym and the Libingan ng mga Bayani," he said in a radio interview.
"Today we have released 34 ( locally stranded individuals ) but we are processing 133, for we are still OK but we are asking our people if your flight is not ready yet please wait for the confirmation," he added.
Roxas said aside from the locally stranded individuals, BRP Davao del Sur is carrying 2,508 boxes of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and medical supplies for the frontliners in the Visayas region.
"These will be transported to the Office of Civil Defense hub in Cebu," she said. Robina Asido/DMS