Overseas Filipino Workers tend to return to the Philippines to be with their families, especially during the holiday season. However, because of the recent pandemic, they had to spend some time inside quarantine facilities to follow the health protocol mandated by the government.
What’s more excruciating is the fact that they had to stay in quarantine hotels because they are waiting for the result of their RT-PCR test. Their leave days have already decreased because of the isolation that they had to go through and it will further decrease because of the long waiting time for the result of their RT-PCR test.
Analyn Marzan, an OFW from Lebanon had to suffer the same thing when she went to the Philippines for a vacation.
She had her COVID-19 test taken last January 5 inside the quarantine facility. According to the ones who took the test, the result will arrive in the next 12 to 24 hours.
However, three days have passed and the results is not yet out.
Analyn was waiting for the result because it will be the deciding point whether she can go to her family or continue quarantining if the results turn positive.
Furthermore, Marzan is worried that there will be trouble with her PCR test upon her return to Lebanon.
The OFW was only allowed to vacation in the Philippines for a couple of weeks. Because of that, every day that she spends in the quarantine facility should have been spent with her family.
This same situation is not foreign to other OFWs returning home amidst the pandemic. Some even had to spend Christmas eve on quarantine facilities.
According to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, this situation is unavoidable because there are a lot of Filipino doing their PCR test in government laboratories. However, they are currently seeing the possibility of allowing private laboratories to conduct tests to better improve the process.
“Parang may domino effect ito, yung dami ng mga nagpapa-test ngayon, hindi lamang sa mga umaalis kundi pati sa nanunumbalik [bumabalik]. Rest assured yung specimen naman ay hindi na-damage o nasira. It’s still there, its just being processed so just to seek the patience of out OFWs,” says Hans Leo Cacdac of OWWA.
Furthermore, there is an increase in the number of OFWs who turn out to be positive and they had to undergo genome sequencing to identify the variant of COVID-19 that they have. In turn, this lengthens the time they had to spend inside quarantine facilities.