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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday reported that a total of 421,723 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have been assisted by the ‘Hatid Tulong’ joint government program.

“In response to the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to send our OFWs back to their provinces, the DOTr joins the National Task Force on Covid-19 (NTF-COVID), 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 a Facebook post.

Of the figure, it said 123,439 were transported by land through the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

Meanwhile, some 219,589 were transported via air transport through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 and 72,695 by sea through the North Harbor.

The data from the PITX and NAIA Terminal 2 were gathered from May 25, 2020, to Jan. 24, 2021 while data from North Harbor were gathered from April 27, 2020, to Jan. 24, 2021.

The Hatid Tulong program assists OFWs who have been stranded in Metro Manila due to measures imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

It is a joint initiative of the Office of the President, NTF-COVID, 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, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Tourism, Philippine Ports Authority, Office for Transportation Security, Manila International Airport Authority, Land Transportation Office, and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. (PNA)

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