OWWA assures full support to returning OFWs to Ilocos, clarifies procedure
SAN FERNANDO CITY, May 30 (PIA) – The Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA) in the Ilocos assured full support on returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in Manila back to the region and clarified the procedure on how they will be assisted here.
In a Kapihan sa Ilocos held on May 27, OWWA-Regional Welfare Office 1 regional director Gerardo Rimorin said, “Our agency is on-the-go to bring home our stranded OFWs with the help of our partner agencies.”
OWWA reiterated that OFWs need first to follow strict health measures to be able for them to gain their entry to the region. This is to also ensure safety of residents in the region.
Upon entry to the country, he said that an OFW will undergo coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) swab testing in the airport to be administered by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and shall be quarantined for about 14 days.
“While waiting for their results to come out, OWWA will provide accommodation and food assistance in their respective quarantine facilities,” Rimorin added.
Further, results will be released by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and will issue a certificate and/or posted in the PCG’s website. This will only take about three to five days.
If found negative of COVID-19, an OFW shall be guided to travel back to their regions by an authorized representative from OWWA to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
The PITX is the drop-off and pick-up point in Manila for all north and southbound transportation services to be facilitated by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Moreover, an OFW will be transported from PITX to the region’s drop-off point at the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) exit in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, and shall be ferried by the local government units (LGUs), in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
OFWs may opt to be assisted and welcomed by a relative but must present complete travel documents.
He said that drop-off and pick up points in the region are located in Rosario, La Union; Sudipen, La Union-Tagudin, Ilocos Sur; and Badoc, Ilocos Norte-Sinait, Ilocos Sur boundaries to be manned by the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel to further check on the validity of documents.
“As of May 27, we have already assisted 1,038 OFW repatriates and is expecting that in the following days, the numbers will increase,” he further added.
OWWA-RWO1 reported that the breakdown of the total number of OFWs assisted is as follows: Pangasinan is at 594; La Union is 173 while in the provinces of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte is at 130 and 116, respectively. The agency also assisted a total of 25 OFW repatriates from other provinces.
“Our agency will be on duty 27/4 just to ensure that all of our kababayans will be sent home immediately and safely, adhering to the order of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Rimorin said.
According to Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, a total of 26,590 OFWs were brought back to their provinces and is expecting about 40,000 more to come home to our country until the end of June 2020. (JCR/AMB/AHFF/PIA 1)