Only one week to release the 24,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) from the quarantine facilities in Manila, says President Rodrigo Duterte towards the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Health and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
It can be recalled that the government was flooded with comments from disappointed OFWs after they were quarantined for more than 14 days due to the late release of their COVID-19 results.
There are a lot of OFWs who already completed their 14-day quarantine period but they are yet to be allowed to leave the facility as the COVID-19 test conducted on them is not yet available.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, President Duterte gave an order to the DOH, DOLE, and OWWA to ensure that these repatriated OFWs will return home in one week.
“Sabi po ng Presidente, ang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno ay authorized to use all resources of the government and authorized to use all modes of transportation —buses, airplanes, and ships — para mapauwi na po itong 24,000 na ating mgakababayan,” says Roque.
According to President Duterte, he does not want to give difficulties to OFWs as they already spent years working outside the country.
“Hindi katanggap-tangap sa Pangulo ang matagal na proseso nanaka-quarantine na OFW,” says Roque.
Provinces will also need to intensify their PCR-based testing for OFWs so they can just undergo quarantine inside their areas of residence.
“Pinag-utos din ng Presidente napalakasin ang PCR testing sa iba’tibang probinsiya para sa darating na mga araw pauuwiin na ang mga OFWs doon na sila magka-quarantine sa kanilang probinsiya,” Roque added.
President Duterte also does not like the same incidents to happen again, referring to the stranded OFWs due to the delays brought by the late release of their COVID-19 testing results.