Around 300K OFWs to return to Philippines amid COVID-19 pandemic — DILG
MANILA, Philippines — Around 300,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are expected to return to the country this year, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Sa buong taon ini-expect kasi natin na mga 300,000 na OFWs ang ineexpect nating uuwi (For the whole year, we expect that around 300,000 OFWs will go home),” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo on Monday.
“Buong mundo kasi ang naka-lockdown. Pinauuwi talaga nila iyong mga workers, hindi lang Pilipinas, iba’t ibang countries. Ito rin ang pagkakataon na ipakita natin ang importance ng mga OFWs ‘pag sila ay umuwi na,” he also said.
(The entire world is in a lockdown. They really send workers home, not just the Philippines, but other countries. This is also our chance to show the importance of OFWs once they go home.)
Año also said that starting this Monday until Wednesday, around 24,000 OFWs who have already tested negative for the new coronavirus and have already gone through quarantine will be sent home to their respective provinces.
“Itong lahat na 24,000 na ito ay tapos na yung PCR testing nito, negative sila lahat. meron din silang certificate of quarantine (All of these 24,000 have finished their PCR testing and all of them tested negative. They also have certificate of quarantine),” he said.
He added that the DILG has already ordered law enforcers manning quarantine checkpoints to ensure smooth passage of buses that will carry the OFWs.
Año explained some repatriated OFWs stayed longer in isolation centers than their supposed 14-day quarantine due to problems on encoding and printing of certificates that have been resolved.
In a separate interview with Teleradyo, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the OFWs will be transported by land or air.
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