REPATRIATED. Overseas Filipino workers line up after alighting from an airplane in Eastern Visayas in this undated photo. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday (Dec. 18, 2020) said the government’s ‘Hatid-Tulong’ program has so far brought home 373,293 OFWs. (PNA file photo)
MANILA – A total of 373,293 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were stranded in Metro Manila have so far been brought home through the concerted efforts of the government under the “Hatid-Tulong” program.
“In response to the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to send our OFWs back to their provinces, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) joins the National Task Force for Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), and concerned government agencies, in establishing the Hatid-Tulong Program, to assist and transport our stranded OFWs in Metro Manila back to their respective provinces,” the DOTr said in an update on Friday.
Of the total, it said most were brought home via air travel at 194,206, followed by land transport at 114,141. Data for both land and air transport were recorded from May 25 to December 17 while sea transport at 64,946 was recorded from April 27 to Dec. 17.
In a separate update, the DOTr said its “Free Ride for Health Workers” program has now provided a total of 1,957,178 free rides across the country as of Thursday.
“Walang patid ang pagbibigay ng libreng sakay ng DOTr sa ating mga bayaning health worker, hindi lamang sa National Capital Region (NCR), kundi maging sa regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, CAR at CARAGA! (There’s no stopping the DOTr providing free rides for our heroic health workers, not only in NCR but also in regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, CAR at CARAGA!),”
Of the total, it said the total ridership in the NCR-Greater Manila has reached 546,865 while the ridership for the rest of the country has reached 1,410,313.
It said a total of 74 vehicles were deployed to provide free rides on Thursday.
To date, the Petron Corporation has continued to provide free fuel subsidy to partner-transport companies of the program.
All medical workers also continue to have free access to all expressways in Luzon through a partnership between toll operators and the Toll Regulatory Board. (PNA)