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Mocha justifies gathering with OFWs in Batangas amid enhanced quarantine

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 07:14 PM April 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Deputy Administrator Margaux “Mocha” Uson on Tuesday defended her action of gathering overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) quarantined in a Matabungay, Batangas, resort for the distribution of hygiene kits, among others.

In a Facebook post, the pro-Duterte blogger said the OFWs were reminded to follow the guidelines imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

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Patungkol sa isyu ng "mass gathering" sa Matabungkay, BatangasNoong ika-25 ng Abril 2020, tumungo ang OWWA sa isa sa…

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Posted by Margaux "Mocha" Uson on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

“Amin po silang pinaalalahanan ng mga alituntunin na dapat sundin sa panahon ng ECQ, tulad ng social distancing at hindi paglabas sa kanilang quarantine facilities, dahil may mga nakarating na balita sa aming tanggapan na may mga OFW na nananalagi sa tabing-dagat ng Matabungkay,”  she wrote.

(We reminded them to follow the rules that should be followed during the period of ECQ, such as social distancing and not going out of their quarantine facilities, because we received a report that one OFW was seen on the shore of Matabungkay.)

She also said that OWWA conducts regular visits to OFWs lodged in other quarantine facilities to check on their conditions.

“Ang pagbisitang ito rin sa kanila ay aming ginawa upang palakasin ang kanilang loob, at ipabatid sa kanila na hindi sila pinapabayaan ng ating administrayon,” Uson said.

(This visit was our way to uplift their spirit, and to show them that they are not being neglected by this administration.)

“Kami ay bumisita nang may mahigpit na pagsunod sa mga alituntunin ng IATF, mula pa nang nagsimula ang ECQ noong ika-15 ng Marso,” Uson added. “Amin po lamang sinisiguro ang ating mga OFW, ang ating mga bagong bayani, ay ligtas at malayo sa anuman uri ng panganib sa panahong ito ng CoVid-19 pandemic.”

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(We visited them under the strict rules of the IATF, since the ECQ was first implemented on March 15. We are just making sure that our OFWs, our modern-day heroes, are safe and away from any dangers during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Over the weekend, Uson visited some 332 quarantined OFWs in Matabungkay in Lian, Batangas. She shared photos of her visit on her Facebook page.

But Uson got flak for carrying out such an activity that seemed to constitute “mass gathering” – an exercise prohibited under the ECQ protocols.

Kinumusta po natin ang kalagayan ng 322 OFWs natin sa Matabungkay Lian Batangas

Posted by Margaux "Mocha" Uson on Saturday, April 25, 2020

Batangas province is one of the areas placed under ECQ, which President Rodrigo Duterte extended until May 15, to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the highly contagious respiratory illness COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, the Philippines already has 7,598 individuals infected with SARs-CoV-2. Of this figure, 530 have died while 975 managed to recover.

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