Stranded OFWs affected by nCoV travel ban to receive cash, transport assistance
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has ordered the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to extend cash, accommodation and transport assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the government’s travel ban due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
Labor Acting Secretary Renato Ebarle has issued a memorandum to OWWA directing the agency to provide P10,000 cash assistance, accommodation and transportation to would-be departing OFWs who were left stranded at the airport following the travel ban.
“The move will help ease the burden on would-be departing workers, and assist them in their transport back to their places of origin,” Ebarle said in the memorandum.
The acting secretary said the stranded Filipino workers would also be provided with accommodation at the OWWA halfway house while arrangements for their travel to their respective provinces are being arranged.
According to DOLE, stranded OFWs may seek help from OWWA assistance officers at the airports or they can call OWWA through its hotline: 1348.
Hundreds of OFWs, bound mostly for Hong Kong and Macau, were stranded at the Manila airports on Monday, following the temporary travel ban imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, which has so far killed over 300 in China.
The ban covers foreigners coming from China, Hong Kong and Macau amid the virus outbreak in the last 14 days.
Exempted from the ban are Filipinos and Philippine permanent resident visa holders who will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival to the Philippines.
Travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau is also temporarily banned.
The first confirmed case of nCoV in the Philippines, was a 38-year-old female Chinese traveler from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, who arrived via Hong Kong. Her partner, a 44-year-old Chinese man, died in the Philippines over the weekend, the first death from the virus outside of China.
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