It will now only take five days for Overseas Filipino Workers (returning or repatriated) to stay in Manila for their COVID-19 testing before they can return to their provinces, contrary to the previous reports that OFWs were forced to stay inside quarantine facilities due to late COVID-19 test results.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed this news in an interview, adding that the move is to prevent the previous cases in which the 24,000 OFWs were left stuck inside quarantine facilities for two months despite testing negative of the disease.
Several complaints were raised by these OFWs prompting the president to interfere and ordered their release within one week.
“Ayaw napo nating mangyari iyong nakaraan na umabot ng isang buwan, napagakasunduan po namin na limang araw langang maximum na nasa Maynila ang OFWs,” says Lorenzana.
This month, an additional 42,000 OFWs will arrive in the Philippines, with 1,200 to 1,500 OFWs to be allowed entry every day. This is to avoid overcrowding in the government-provided quarantine facilities.
Lorenzana also clarified that they will be paying for the swab tests as well as the accommodation of OFWs but not for other passengers.
It was also reported earlier that the Clark International Airport has started accepted repatriated OFWs since June 5.
“Ang gagawin po natin ngayon sa mga susunod na linggo ay idi-decentralize napo natin ang arrivals ng ating mga OFWs,” says Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vince Dizon.
“Magsisimulapoiyansapagtanggap ng Clark International Airport bukas ng mga flights galingsa abroad dalaangatingmga OFWs,” he added.
Returning OFWs need to undergo COVID-19 testing before they are allowed to return to their respective provinces.