Duterte to DOLE, OWWA, DOH: Expedite 24,000 quarantined OFWs return home
QUEZON CITY, May 25, (PIA) — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued a directive on Monday to three government agencies to expedite the return to their homes, within the week, the 24,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) currently staying in different quarantine facilities in Metro Manila.
Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque announced the President’s directive this morning during the Laging Handa media briefing and said the “ultimatum” was directed to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Department of Health (DoH).
“Yung mga walang quarantine certificate, bibigyan sila nito bago sumakay ng bus, eroplano o barko papunta sa kanilang mga pamilya,” Roque said.
“Ang mga walang kopya ng quarantine certificate na kakailanganin para makauwi, nagkaroon na ng sistema ngayon ang OWWA na bibigyan kayo ng kopya bago kayo sumakay ng eroplano, bus, o barko,” he added.
“So inaasahan po natin na magkakaroon naman po ng implementasyon ang ating mga ahensya ng gobyerno at itong linggong ito ay inaasahan nga ng Presidente na wala na doon sa mga 24,000 na mga OFWs na nag-aantay ng Covid-19 results ay manatili dito sa Maynila,” Roque further said.
He said Duterte directed the three concerned agencies to “exhaust all means” for the return of the OFWs who have finished their mandatory 14-day quarantine period and who tested negative for COVID-19.
For his part, DOLE Secretary Bello said the OFWs will be returning to their homes by land, sea and air travel within a week span starting today. He said that airports in concerned LGUs will be opened for the returning OFWs.
The move is in line with the requests of OFWs who have long finished the 14-day quarantine period to return home and, to decongest quarantine facilities in preparation for the 44,000 returning OFWs.
Bello said that the incoming 44,000 OFWs will be sent directly to their places as LGUs have already set up quarantine facilities in their areas and testing facilities are already in place.
On his part, Presidential Spokeperson Harry Roque qouted President Duterte’s words that OFWs should not experience more difficulty after spending years of working hard in different parts of the world. (PIA NCR)