After the July 25-29 Hatid Tulong Initiative 2nd Grand Send-Off at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, locally stranded individuals (LSIs) bound for Mindanao, Visayas, and Regions 1 and 5 are now back in their respective provinces.
The 2nd send-off facilitated the travel of 6,434 LSIs. 4,372 were bound for Mindanao, 1,644 for Visayas, and 418 for Luzon. LSIs bound for Regions and provinces that are under moratoriums were brought to a temporary shelter in Bulacan, while waiting for advice from their LGUs.
The Hatid Tulong Initiative provides free rapid testing, facilitation of travel authority, and free transportation. DSWD also gives cash allowance to LSIs. Sen. Bong Go who has been supporting the program also distributed grocery items and face masks.
“Unahin natin ang mahihirap. Sila ang most vulnerable. Ako mismo po, tumutulong po ako sa kanila. Nagbibigay po kami ng masks, mga pagkain din po doon sa kanila. Kawawa naman po ang mga Pilipino, tulungan na lang po natin silang makauwi sa kanilang mga probinsya sa ligtas na paraan. Sundin pa rin palagi ang mga health and safety protocols. Magmalasakit tayo at huwag natin silang pabayaan,” Go said.
The Hatid Tulong Initiative was organized as a response to the growing number of LSIs who want to go home to their province after losing their jobs as a result of business establishments downsizing the number of their employees.
Through the Hatid Tulong Initiative, LSIs are able to secure their travel requirements in one day, complying with DOH medical protocols. Onsite rapid testing and issuance of travel authority are all done on the same day of the arranged departure of the LSIs using different modes of transportation provided by the government.
The Hatid Tulong Initiative started on May 26, 2020, sending off LSIs per region using PCG and BFAR vessels for Mindanao and Visayas regions. PNR transported LSIs for region 5. Chartered flights were also utilized during smaller send-offs.
“The Hatid Tulong Initiative, was organized to implement the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, to help LSIs go home to their province,” said Asec Joseph Encabo of the Presidential Management Staff.