OWWA: 6,500 OFWs remain in quarantine facilities
MANILA, Philippines — Around 6,500 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have returned to the country remain in 125 hotels to complete their quarantine, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said Wednesday.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that the number is now “manageable” as compared to the previous 10,000 OFWs staying in quarantine sites.
“Manageable tayo ngayon. The last time we talked, umaabot ng 10,000. Medyo critical level ‘yun, but now okay tayo, and as usual the 6,500 are monitored by our team of OWWA house parents,” he said in an online media forum.
(The situation is manageable now. The last time we talked there were 10,000 OFWs in quarantine hotels. The situation before was quite critical, but the situation is okay now, and as usual the 6,5000 OFWs are being monitored by our team of OWWA house parents.)
According to Cacdac, at least one to three house parents are deployed per hotel being used as a quarantine site, depending on the number of OFWs staying there.
He added that there are also nurses who monitor the health situation of the OFWs and midwives to check on those who are pregnant.
In March, Cacdac said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III wrote to Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to request an additional budget of P9.8 billion to fund the quarantine accommodation expenses of returning OFWs.
He said that the P6.2-billion budget for the hotel, transportation, and food expenses of returning OFWs under the 2021 General Appropriations Act could run out by April or May.
According to Cacdac, talks between the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Budget and Management for the additional budget are now ongoing.
“Ngayon okay pa naman tayo. Again ang tantsa natin ng pagkadepletion ng funds is sometime in the middle of May, second to the fourth week of May, ‘yun na ‘yung medyo red alert na, so now April 21st okay pa naman tayo sa ngayon,” he said.
(The budget is still okay now. Again, our estimate is the funds could be depleted sometime in the middle of May, second to fourth week of May, that is when the budget could reach red alert. But now on April 21, the budget is still okay.)
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