THE Department of Social Welfare and Development-Central Visayas (DSWD 7) has distributed a total of P6.097 million in financial assistance to 3,214 returning overseas Filipino workers (ROFs) and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) as of July 29, 2020.
The agency also distributed P813,200.89 worth of hot meals and non-food items like hygiene kits to 7,535 ROFs and LSIs as part of the government’s Hatid Tulong Program.
In a statement, the agency said it has deployed social workers at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City and at Pier 1 in Cebu City to assist the migrant workers and stranded persons.
Upon their arrival, LSIs receive hot meals and financial assistance through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.
The amount of financial assistance depends on the assessment of the social worker.
The agency also distributed flyers and provided a brief orientation on the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale Tool to check the mental health status of the ROFs.
Social workers also check passports and other pertinent documents of passengers, especially those with minors. This is a standard operating procedure (SOP) to prevent child trafficking.
Proper coordination with the local government units (LGUs) like the Cebu City Government and Cebu Provincial Government has also been done to enable the LGUs to prepare for transportation, screening and quarantine measures.
The Hatid Tulong Program is a transport assistance initiative by different national government agencies like Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration together with Philippine recruitment agencies.
The program uses a whole-of-government approach to help ROFs and LSIs affected by quarantine restrictions return to their respective provinces. / WBS with PR