DFA: Filipinos in China can come home, but will be placed under quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos from Hubei province, China can come back home voluntarily as long as they agree to place themselves under quarantine following the virus scare caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.
“As Secretary Francisco Duque III said as chair of the inter-agency task force, we came out with the decision, the task force has come out with the decision that any Filipino who wants to come home can come home, except that they will be placed under quarantine for 14 days, also for their own protection as well as the protection of their families also,” DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said in a press briefing with the Department of Health (DOH).
“In that respect, they are all free to go, we are now asking our missions to now collate the number of Filipinos, as well as the names of those who would like to come home under that condition,” he added.
Dulay added that the country’s ministry of foreign affairs said that it was willing to help the government to bring the Filipinos home “if there is a need to repatriate them.”
“The scenarios are being thrown about now is by air, there is also the option of doing it by land. But of course, again, we have to take the lead of the Chinese authorities based on their own rules on the ground,” Dulay said on how the repatriated Filipinos would be brought back home.
Duque, meanwhile, said that the government will shoulder the expenses as part of the quarantine measures.
“We will have to spend for all of that, as part of the quarantine measures, we will have to sustain them in all of the 14 days that they are isolated,” the Health chief said.
“We have the budget for that. That’s the least of our worries,” he added when asked if a budget will be allocated to cover such expenses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday recorded a total of 2,014 confirmed cases of the virus or 2019-nCoV globally.
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