Palace admits lapses in ‘Hatid Tulong’ as stranded persons crowd Rizal stadium
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday admitted that there were shortcomings on the crammed stranded individuals awaiting transportation at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila for the government’s “Hatid Tulong” program.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said there should have been a better system in place to ensure physical distancing is observed.
“Bulag naman ako kung sasabihin kong walang pagkakamali doon. Meron pong pagkakamali doon,” Roque said in an online briefing when sought for his reaction on the prevailing situation at hte Rizal Memorial Stadium.
(I’d be blind if I’ll say there were no shortcomings there. There were shortcomings.)
“Dapat po nagkaroon ng sistema na bagamat maraming tao doon sa Rizal Memorial [Stadium], dapat siniguro ang social distancing,” he also said.
(There should have been a system, despite the number of people, to ensure social distancing.)
Thousands of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) packed the Rizal Memorial Stadium over the weekend, hoping to avail of the government’s transportation program. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1311923/thousands-of-lsis-crammed-inside-rizal-memorial-stadium-amid-covid-19-risks
The “Hatid Tulong” program provides either land, air or sea transportation to those who got stranded in various areas due to lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Pero intindihin na lang po natin ‘yung mga LSIs, talagang atat na atat nang makauwi. At ‘yung iba nawalan ng pag-asa makauwi tapos biglang nabuhayan ng loob kaya nagdagsaan sila sa Rizal Memorial [Stadium],” Roque said.
(But let’s just understand those LSIs, who really just want to go home. Some of them already gave up and then suddenly enlivened so they trooped to Rizal Memorial Stadium.)
Earlier, head of Hatid Tulong program and Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo appealed for understanding and explained that the number of stranded individuals inside the stadium ballooned after they let those waiting in the streets enter the facility.
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