The Balik Probinsiya Program has sent home an initial 586 Returning Overseas Filipinos and Locally Stranded Individuals to South Cotabato in a week’s time.
Based on the reports coming from the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19, starting May 25 to June 1, 2020, a total of 322 LSIs managed to go home while 325 for the ROFs.
The ROFs were arranged by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration wherein 222 arrived via plane from Manila to General Santos City Airport, 2 from Davao, and 11 from Cagayan de Oro City.
The Provincial Government of South Cotabato and the respective Local Government Units extended assistance to the ROFs by way of ferrying them to their respective quarantine facilities.
For the LSIs, at least 322 were able to return to the province. These include 206 from Manila and 102 in Cebu via Cebu Pacific which was arranged by the Provincial Government of South Cotabato through the Arts Culture Tourism and Museum Unit.
Local Tourism Officer Argie Ryan Asaria said they made an arrangement with the Cebu Pacific Airlines in order to send home these LSIs. LGU South Cotabato was able to pay Php1.1 million for the Manila-Gensan trip, while Php1.039 million for the Cebu-Gensan trip.
Asaria said, the LSIs need to pay an amount of Php4500 each for their trip but the province still managed to subsidize their fare.
“For the Mnl-GSC flight, the total fare should supposedly be at Php5045 while for Cebu-GSC, it should cost more than Php10,000,” Asaria said.
With these fares, LGU South Cotabato managed to subsidize Php112k for the Manila-Gensan trip and more than Php580k for the Cebu-GSC trip.
Asaria added many passengers were not able to pay their airfare yet.
“ We called on these passengers to kindly settle your account.” He added.
For land transfer, one arrived from Digos City and 60 others from Davao City. They were aboard two buses provided for free by the province.
Meanwhile, the provincial government is still facilitating another trip from Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro for more LSI and ROFs to come home to the province.
Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr. earlier expressed his will to help these fellow South Cotabateños to come home.
” We should help our province mates. If are well protected if they are inside our province.” He said
For travel requirements, each passenger has to prepare a medical certificate and a travel authority prior to their trip.