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1,250 stranded workers in Boracay ready to leave

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The local government of Malay, Aklan has established procedures for stranded Boracay workers to return to their respective hometowns, the top local official said on Tuesday.

Frolibar Bautista, Malay municipal mayor, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that they have so far recorded 1,250 workers stuck in the world-famous island due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)-related enhanced community quarantine.

“Now we have the protocols for them to go home within Aklan province and even in other provinces,” he said.

For workers who will return home within Aklan, they will first need to
secure a certificate of acceptance from the village chief and the
municipal mayor of their hometown.

The same certificate is needed for workers to return home in provinces outside Aklan but since it’s travel from one province to another, Bautista said they will need a certificate of acceptance from the governor of their residence.

“This is to ensure that if the worker will leave the island, he or she will be accepted in his place of residence,” he said.

If the local chief executive of the workers’ hometown agrees to their return, Bautista said the worker must apply to the Municipal Health Office of Malay to secure their health clearance.

“The workers must be checked first by our doctor. We are giving their hometown the assurance that workers from our town are free from any symptoms,” he said.

The workers may opt to send their health certificates ahead to their hometowns through electronic mail.

Then, Bautista said the workers or their local government of origin can arrange the transportation for their repatriation.

“We advise the workers to group themselves according to their hometown so it will not be hard to transport them by group,” he said.

The Malay mayor recommends local government units that will arrange the transportation of their workers to coordinate with Malay’s Public Employment Service (PESO).

The local government of Malay facilitated the return of 15 stranded workers bound for Numancia, Aklan last Saturday and another 14 stranded workers to Balete, Aklan on Monday.

A group of 15 workers is scheduled to return home to Pandan, Antique on Tuesday, the mayor said.

“As long as their transportation is arranged, they can go home,” he said. (PNA)