DOTr: Over 160,000 OFWs have returned to provinces under gov’t’s Hatid-Tulong program

(Eagle News)–Over 160,000 Overseas Filipino Workers have returned to their respective provinces under the government’s Hatid-Tulong program.

The Department of Transportation said the 165,862 OFWs assisted by the government were as of Aug. 27.

Of these, the DOTr said  52,022 were transported by land, 74,440 using air transport  and via sea transport 39,400.

The data for land and air transport is from May 25 – August 27, while the data for sea transport was from April 27 to August 27.

The DOTr said the program is a joint initiative of the Office of the President, National Task Force Covid-19, the DOTr, Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Also involved in the initiative are the Department of Tourism, Philippine Ports Authority, Manila International Airport Authority, Land Transportation Office, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Metro Manila is under a general community quarantine, which means domestic flights are allowed from and to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

There are varying degrees of community quarantine imposed in different parts of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making it difficult for some OFWs to return home to their provinces.