Puerto Princesa execs decry ‘short notice’ for return of OFWs | Inquirer News

Puerto Princesa execs decry ‘short notice’ for return of OFWs

By: - Correspondent / @RVMirandaINQ
/ 08:26 PM May 29, 2020

Photo contributed by Kevin Dellosa

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The arrival here of at least 86 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coming home to Palawan came as a surprise for local officials who said the landing of the OFWs at the city airport came on short notice.

Lawyer Arnel Pedrosa, the city administrator, said on Thursday evening (May 29) that he got a call from Philippine Airlines (PAL) staffers about the OFWs’ return only a few hours before the returning migrant workers disembarked at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA).

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Pedrosa said the city government was surprised by what he said was a lack of coordination by the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), which asked local officials to receive the returning OFWs with no prior notice.

“They were already here, it’s not like we can turn them away,” Pedrosa said in Fiipino.

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“We have to make sure that none of them will turn out positive otherwise we will end up like Leyte,” Pedrosa added, referring to a case of a Balik Probinsiya beneficiary who tested positive for coronavirus when he was already in his hometown in Leyte.

Photo contributed by Kevin Dellosa

The 86 OFWs boarded PAL Flight 2P4787 from Manila. At least 45 of them were Puerto Princesa City residents and 41 were from different Palawan towns.

A statement from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in the city said airport workers “got the lead out and prepared all necessary resources and facility” for the arriving OFWs “despite the time constraint.”

Kevin Dellosa, a seafarer who was one of the 86 OFWs who came home to the province, expressed dismay at the lack of coordination, saying officials had months to prepare.

Upon arrival, the OFWs were tested for coronavirus before they were brought to isolation facilities.

Richard Ligad, chief of the city information office, on Friday said all OFWs tested negative for SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The OFWs are now on quarantine in different facilities in the city. The plane that brought them home to Palawan immediately left after unloading the passengers.

Edited by TSB
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