Richard Gomez criticizes ‘Balik Probinsya program’: “What happened to all the protocols that we’ve been working on?”

Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez criticized several government agencies for allegedly disregarding protocols for the people who participated in the ‘Balik Probinsiya’ program.

In a Facebook post, Gomez couldn’t hide his frustration after he was informed that they should not apply health protocols against COVID-19 to the beneficiaries of the said program.

“DILG, NHA, OWWA, what happened to all the protocols that you guys are trying to formulate for returning residents?!!!” Gomez said.

“I just would like to share what is happening right now about this Balik Probinsya program. This morning the DILG regional office and OWWA texted, “texted”, us informing us that there are 3 planes arriving in Tacloban and telling us to receive them without following COVID protocols, undocumented and untested,” he added.

The actor-turned-politician said that they did their best to maintain Ormoc free from the virus for more than two months only to be told that they need to accept the beneficiaries of the Balik Probinsya program without any conditions.

“We have kept our city Covid-free for more than 70 days bec of strict border controls and implementation of health protocols. Then here comes a TEXT from the National government agencies telling us that there are repatriates coming in our city and telling us to accept them?!” he stated.

“What happened to all the protocols that we’ve been working on? What happened their protocols that they have been telling us to do if they themselves are not doing the right thing?!” he added.

According to him, “it only takes one infected person” to spread COVID-19 in the city and affect hundreds of innocent people.

The post of Gomez reached 6,100 shares on social media.

Aside from the Balik Probinsiya program, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) released a circular asking the LGU officials to accept 24,000 OFWs who were forced to quarantine in Metro Manila.

According to DILG, if the OFW was incomplete with documents, the LGUs should quarantine him/her and have him tested for COVID-19.

The memorandum was released after President Duterte ordered the government agencies to send home the 24,000 OFWs staying in Metro Manila.


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