For Robin Padilla, the best thing for stranded individuals to do is to return to their respective provinces.
Posting a video about the government’s “Hatid Tulong” project where local stranded individuals (LSIs) are encouraged to go back to their provinces, Padilla believes that “walang pinakamasarap at mainam kundi bumalik sa lupang sinilangan.” (There is nothing sweeter and better to do than to return to one’s place of origin.)
The action star, a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, feels that living in the province is better than residing in the city. He also compared living in the city to staying in a prison.
“Napakapinagpala ng mga makababalik sa labas ng mga ating siyudad dahil sigurado ang pangpamilyang kabuhayan sa probinsiya basta makapagtanim ka at makisama sa kalikasan sigurado mas tatagal kayo kesa sa mga nasa siyudad sa pakikipaglaban sa [COVID-19] virus dahil kakampi mo ang kalikasan at ang lawak non,” he said.
(Those who will be able to return outside of our city are blessed because for sure there is a family livelihood in the province as long as you plant and you take care of nature, surely you will last longer than city dwellers in your fight against COVID-19 virus because you have nature as your ally and its space.)
Padilla believes that nature benefitted during the pandemic as the lockdown provided an opportunity for the surroundings to refresh itself from destruction people have wrought.
The “Hatid Tulong” program came under fire after thousands of stranded individuals were packed last July into the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila without physical distancing, one of the minimum health protocols to curb the spread of coronavirus. Among the LSIs, 48 tested positive for coronavirus after taking rapid antibody tests and are awaiting the results of their confirmatory swab tests. NVG