The Incident Management Team (IMT) of Puerto Princesa has been criticized by traveling local residents attempting to arrange their return to the city, who have complained that their inquiries have not been answered.
IMT commander Dr. Dean Palanca said in a text message that this is mainly caused by the large volume of inquiries they receive every day.
“Yes, we are [experiencing backlog]. More than 600 e-mails per day night now natatanggap ng travel team. Daming umuuwi right now sa Puerto Princesa and next month,” Palanca said in a text message on Tuesday.
Several residents have reached out to media entities for help, complaining that they were not getting any response from the IMT that they need so that they can finalize their return travel.
One resident told Palawan News she had sent an email inquiry as early as November 23 but has yet to receive any reply.
“Noon 23 pa ako nag-email. Wala talaga[ng] reply. Dami [nang] nag-PM sa akin, sila rin daw hirap na hirap,” the complainant said.
Another returning resident sought the help of friends living in Puerto Princesa to physically appear at the IMT’s office at the City Coliseum to follow up on an e-mail she had sent. She explained that all the IMT’s hotlines were unresponsive or had no ringing tones during office hours.
Staff at the IMT travel office also deferred answering questions from Palawan News.
Dr. Palanca assured that they are currently troubleshooting issues causing the backlog and improving their workflow.
“’Yong mga things to improve and lessen the backlog are being troubleshooted na,” he added.
Puerto Princesa began relaxing travel requirements for returning residents in mid-November by removing mandatory quarantine and RT-PCR testing requirements for fully vaccinated residents. Travelers are instead required to undergo home quarantine for seven days, provided that their adult household members are also fully vaccinated and minors are partially vaccinated. However, residents still need to coordinate their travel with IMT because their homes will first be inspected and household members’ vaccination statuses will be verified.