The Davaoeños who are stranded outside the Davao Region have become “one of the biggest problems” for the local government.
“The reason I said that it is one of the biggest problems is because what we can do for them is very limited,” Mayor Sara Duterte said.
She said that they are always following the advice of the infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists when it comes to lifting the quarantine measures. However, the national government already issued a directive extending the lockdown in selected areas, including Davao City, until May 15.
“We have already prepared the system on how to accept the stranded individuals back here in Davao City, but until now we are yet to be given a go signal from the doctors.”
One of the main criteria to open the borders is to increase the bed capacity dedicated for COVID-19 patients.
“We were told that if we are going to accept hundreds (of individuals) to enter Davao City, and our capacity is only 416 beds (in our centers), we were told that it might not be enough should there be individuals entering found to be positive (of COVID-19),” she added.
There are around 1,200 individuals on the unofficial masterlist of the city government who are stranded in other regions in the country.
“It is unofficial because we just accept their requests, complaints, and issues that they are said to be stranded. We have no way of verifying if they are indeed stranded,” she said.
The only documents required by the city include their valid IDs, proof of their residences, and their unused boarding passes or tickets.
“But to check further the legitimacy of their ticket or their boarding passes, we could no longer do that, which is why our list is unofficial,” she said.
The city government has established the Davao City Stranded Persons Data Base Center (DCSPBC) to address the concern of residents.
“Currently, we have already created a team to collect the contact details of individuals who wish to go outside of Davao City back to their hometown,” she said.
“We are reminding them that we can assist them to be brought back to their hometown but they have to make sure that they will be accepted in their hometown,” Duterte added, noting that there are local government units that might reject them since they came from Davao City, a COVID-19 hotspot.
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