(Eagle News) — The government has transported over 400,000 overseas Filipino workers back to their respective provinces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the Department of Transportation said the 494,506 who benefited from the Hatid-Tulong program of the government was the recorded figure as of March 19.
Of these, 150556 were transported by land, 258337 by air, and 85613 by sea.
The figures for those transported via land and air were the total numbers after tallying figures recorded from May 25, 2020 to March 18, 2021.
The figure for sea transport was based on figures tallied from April 27, 2020 to March 19, 2021.
The Hatid-Tulong program is a joint initiative of the DOTr, with the participation of the Office of the President, National Task Force Covid-19, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Philippine Coast Guard.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Office for Transportation Security (OTS), Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) are also part of the initiative.
The Philippines is currently battling a surge in COVID-19 cases, with the Octa research group saying daily COVID-19 cases could hit 11,000 by the end of March if the surge continues unabated.