By Leslie Ann Aquino
More than 800 overseas Filipino of workers have so far benefited from the “Hatid-Sundo sa Stranded OFWs” service of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
As of March 21, OWWA said a total of 824 OFWs availed themselves of the free-transport service.
Launched on March 17, 2020, the “Hatid-Sundo sa Stranded OFWs” provide free transport service to OFWs heading to and coming from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals in view of the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat.
Seven buses were mobilized to pick-up OFWs at the NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3, for transport to designated drop-off points in Dau, Pampanga; Calamba, Laguna; and within the National Capital Region.
OFWs scheduled to fly overseas within the community quarantine period may also avail themselves of the free-transport service of OWWA in going to NAIA.
In a statement, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac admitted encountering challenges in transporting the OFWs to the designated drop-off points due to localized lockdown implemented by various provinces.
Despite that, Cacdac said OWWA remains committed to providing assistance to OFWs and their families.
“This a national emergency and in our effort to help we will encounter challenges. This is not the time to get bogged down by these challenges. Let us all move forward and continue our efforts,” he said.
Cacdac added that the free-transport assistance of OWWA shall continue until the community quarantine is lifted.