Duterte: Send home 24,000 quarantined OFWs in 1 week, expedite release of COVID test results
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has given the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Health (DOH) a week to send home some 24,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are awaiting their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) results in various quarantine facilities, Malacañang said Monday.
“Inutusan po ng ating Presidente and DOLE, OWWA, at ang DOH na meron lamang silang isang linggo para masiguro na lahat po ng 24,000 na OFWs na kapatid nating mga Pilipino na nagaantay ng resulta ay mapauwi sa kani kanilang probinsya,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on state-run PTV4.
(The President ordered DOLE, OWWA and DOH to make sure that the 24,000 OFWs awaiting their COVID-19 test result are sent home within. week.)
According to Roque, the President said the concerned agencies may utilize all government resources to ferry the OFWs back to their provinces.
Duterte also said there is a need to boost coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing nationwide.
“Nagsabi din ang ating Pangulo na kinakailangan palakasin na ang PCR [polymerase chain reaction] testing sa iba’t ibang lugar ng Pilipinas, hindi lamang dito sa Metro Manila nang sa ganon, pupuwede nang umuwi diretso sa kanilang mga probinsya ang mga OFWs at doon na sila magpakuha ng PCR COVID-19 test,” he said.
(The President also saw the need to beef up PCR testing nationwide and not only in Metro Manila. That way, OFWs can be tested in their home provinces.)
A number of repatriated OFWs have complained that they have been confined to quarantine facilities beyond the mandatory 14-day isolation period due to the delay in the release of their COVID-19 test results.
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