BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
More than 35,000 returning overseas workers and locally stranded individuals have returned to Negros Occidental, from March 30 to Dec. 8, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Zephard Gerhart Caelian, commander of the Provincial Incident Management Team (PIMT), said.
Of the 35,095 Negrenses, Caelian said 25,902 were LSIs from Manila and Cebu, and 9,193 were ROFs and overseas Filipino workers.
In the same period, he added that 3,136 migrant sugarcane workers from Aklan, Antique, and Negros Oriental also entered the province to work in various haciendas.
Because of the Yuletide celebration, Caelian said he expects more Negrenses to come home.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson had earlier advised returning Negrenses to book their flights early because they will be subjected to swab testing upon arrival at the Bacolod-Silay Airport, and the release of results may take three days.
While the test results are being awaited, those swabbed will be quarantined. If they yield a negative result, they will then be allowed to go home.
Caelian also reminded returning Negrenses to comply with requirements, including a medical certificate and authority to travel.
From Dec. 1 to 8, Caelian said 2,443 LSIs and 628 ROFs returned to Negros Occidental. Airline companies have also requested Lacson to allow them to have additional flights from Cebu and Manila.*