RETURNING OFWs. Personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard assist some of the 54 locally stranded individuals in boarding the vessel at the domestic pier in Mandaue City to go back to Mindanao as arranged by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) on May 24, 2020. In a statement, OPAV said they are assisting local government units in Central Visayas in preparing for the arrival of hundreds of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to repatriate 24,000 OFWs back to their respective home provinces. (Photo courtesy of OPAV)
CEBU CITY – Local government units (LGU) in Central Visayas are preparing for the arrival of thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Manila, following the ultimatum of President Rodrigo Duterte to send 24,000 of them back to their home provinces.
In a statement released late Friday afternoon, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) said the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (RIATF-EID)-Central Visayas has already discussed the concerns on the process that will be used upon the arrival of the OFWs at the airport and seaports.
Marlou Salazar, Office of Civil Defense (OCD-7) regional director, urged the task force to tap the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for more manpower during the arrival of the OFWs.
OPAV said the OFWs, in the meantime, remained in isolation to comply with health protocols for their safety against infection of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), while waiting for the results of their tests and the issuance of quarantine clearances.
The Department of Health (DOH) Memorandum 2020-0200 provides that OFWs are required to undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country.
However, they will be allowed to return to their home province if their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests yield negative results.
Duterte issued the order after he received complaints from OFWs regarding the delayed release of test results. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency