Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to help the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in implementing the “Hatid Estudyante” program.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the DILG should assist the DOTr in coordinating with local government units for the safe return of stranded students due to the implementation of community quarantine.

“Ito pong programa na ito ay mag-uuwi sa mga stranded na estudyante sa kani-kanilang mga probinsya (This program will help stranded students to return to their respective provinces),” Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4 on Thursday.

The DOTr announced on Wednesday that it already started the data-gathering phase for its Hatid Estudyante program.

The Hatid Estudyante program intends to help students who are currently stranded in their campuses, apartments, and dormitories to return to their respective hometowns and provinces.

Philippine Ports Authority general manager Jay Santiago, DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, and DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon have been tasked to supervise and implement the program.

The DOTr has set up an online enrollment platform which allows students to send their details, current location, destination, and health declaration form.

Students are also required to submit a school identification card or proof of enrollment, as well as parental consent for a minor, which permits the conduct of tests for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Students who wish to come home may fill out a form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSet1crSBtMzGxi2dsClS__VzFUdbrwX0mqD3dPcAndztjGXZg/viewform

They may also call landline numbers 7980-2387, 7980-2390, 7980-2391, 7980-2392 and 7980-2394, or mobile numbers 0917-876-8523, 0917-865-8535, 0917-876-8573, 0917-876-8594 and 0917-802-2224.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the IATF’s recommendation to impose an enhanced community quarantine in areas deemed as high risk for Covid-19 and a general community quarantine in low-risk and middle-risk areas throughout the country until May 15.

The Philippines has so far reported 10,343 confirmed Covid-19 infections, with 685 deaths and 1,618 recoveries. (ia/PNA)

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