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Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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Government rolls out Hatid Estudyante Program for stranded students

Heads up, students! You can now go home to your families thanks to this government program.

Here’s some good news! Stranded students due to the community quarantine can now go home to their families, thanks to the national government’s Hatid Estudyante Program.

Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya advised students to sign up for the Hatid Estudyante program. The program aims to send students back to their hometowns.

Hatid Estudyante Program

Photo from City Government of Davao/UNTV News & Rescue

The Hatid Estudyante Program is the national government’s response to students’ calls of allowing them to go back home since classes are now suspended. This comes after the government eased restrictions in several areas in the country. However, because of the community quarantine in place, parents are still not allowed to fetch their children.

Also Read: How are universities coping with the impacts of COVID-19?

Stranded students may sign up through an online form. Students aged 18 and below, however, need to provide a letter indicating their parents’ consent.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) sent home students since the start of the enhanced community quarantine two months ago. However, over 9,000 students are still stranded in their apartments and dormitories.

LGU Coordination

OPLAN HATID. The University of the Philippines in Los Baños prepares to brings home 58 students to Isabela on May 1, 2020. Photo from the UPLB Community Affairs Facebook page

After signing up, students need to wait for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to fetch them from their dormitories. The DOTr said that confirmation from the local government of the students’ hometown–whether they would allow entry– is needed.

“We treat it on a per LGU (local government unit) basis. We coordinate with the local chief executives so they will understand the plight of the students and accept the students when they come back,” Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Jay Santiago said in an interview with ABS-CBN.

Also Read: Metro Manila, Laguna, Cebu City under modified ECQ until May 31

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte would give cash aid to students for fare and food while traveling.

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