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DOLE: Almost 200k displaced OFWs refuse to return to PH

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 04:08 PM June 02, 2020
The DFA welcomed 440 repatriated OFWs on Friday morning. Image: DFA-OUMWA

In this file photo, the Department of Foreign Affairs welcomes 440 repatriated OFWs on April 10, 2020. Image: DFA-OUMWA

MANILA, Philippines — Despite being displaced from their jobs abroad, around 200,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) still opt to stay in their host countries and not return to the Philippines, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Tuesday.

The roughly 200,000 OFWs are part of the 341,161, who were either terminated from their jobs or cannot report to work due to lockdowns imposed, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said during an online Palace briefing.

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“We have here a record of 343,551 OFWs affected. When we say affected, either they were displaced because of COVID or merong tinamaan talaga ng COVID. Doon sa 343, 000 merong na-displace na OFWs around 341,161,” Bello said.

(We have here a record of 343,551 OFWs affected. When we say affected, either they were displaced due to COVID or were infected by COVID. Of the 343,000, displaced OFWs are at around 341,161.)

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“Ngayon, doon sa 341,000 na ‘yan, magtataka kayo na only 95,000 are stranded. Sabihin niyo sa akin, what happened to the more than 100,000? I will tell you, I myself am surprised that more than, almost 200,000 of them do not want to come home. Ayaw umuwi.”

(Of the 341,000, you will wonder that only 95,000 are stranded. You will ask me, what happened to the more than 100,000? I will tell you that I myself am surprised that more than, almost 200,000 of them do not want to come home.)

“They’d rather stay there. Especially those coming from America and from Europe— Rome, Madrid, United Kingdom. Ayaw magsiuwi,” he further said.

Bello, however, did not detail the OFWs’ reason for choosing to stay abroad than returning to the Philippines.

The government said it is expecting the return of more than 16,000 OFWs by June.

OFWs who lost their jobs and have returned to the Philippines will be offered construction jobs under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program, Malacañang earlier said.

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