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DOTr to assist students stranded by ECQ in Metro Manila

By Alexandria San Juan

While many students are still stranded in Metro Manila due to the continuing enhanced community quarantine, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it is planning to propose a program that will assist them to safely return to their homes.

Transporation secretary Arthur Tugade (ALI VICOY/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (ALI VICOY/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“We will put up a program to help these stranded students return to their provinces. Once approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID), we will immediately launch this program. We are already preparing for this,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement on Tuesday.

Under the “Hatid Estudyante Program,” which is set to be proposed to the IATF, students who are stranded in their campuses, apartments, and dormitories will be assisted by the DOTr to go back to their respective hometowns and provinces.

“Let us take care of the stranded students and bring them home through air, land, and sea travel. We must understand their situation and let us know how we can help them,” Tugade added.

The DOTr chief has assigned Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago, Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, and Assistant Secretary For Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon to supervise and implement the program.

For his part, Santiago shared that the team already came up with an online platform for the stranded students to seek help and for the Department to know their locations.

“We will be starting this Hatid Estudyante Program for these stranded students and come up with an online platform for them to enroll in the program so that we will know how many we need to ferry and to what locations,” the PPA head said.

The stranded students may send to the online enrollment platform the needed information such as personal details, current location, destination, health declaration, as well as a copy of their school ID or any proof of enrollment. If minor, the DOTr said it will also ask a parental consent for them to be tested for COVID-19.

To sign up, students should log on to and fill in the required information, and supply the necessary documents.

“The data will be collated and categorized, and shall be used to determine the feasibility of the program, for eventual presentation to the IATF for approval,” the department explained.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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