50,105 OFWs sent home since mid-May
MANILA, Philippines — More than 50,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from various countries have been sent home since mid-May following their repatriation to the country, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday.
Roque said a total of 50,105 OFWs were sent back to their respective home provinces from May 15 to June 14 this year by planes, boats and buses.
However, more OFWs are expected to arrive in the coming weeks as the health crisis brought by the new coronavirus shuttered many businesses and industries worldwide.
President Duterte earlier directed officials to expedite the process of sending repatriated OFWs home after many complained of being stuck in quarantine centers for more than two weeks because of the delayed release of their COVID-19 test results.
Roque also said the government’s efforts to send home locally stranded individuals were ongoing.
As of June 14, 764 locally stranded individuals who had camped outside the airport terminals to wait for flights home had been sent to Villamor Air Base Elementary School and the Philippine State College of Aeronautics for temporary shelter.
Some 379 have been given transport assistance. Of the remaining individuals, 150 will board the OPV Gabriela Silang bound for Davao and General Santos, while another 150 will be on flights to Davao, he said.
Aside from transportation assistance, the stranded individuals also got sleeping kits and sanitary kits, and P2,000 in cash from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
As this developed, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has asked Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to ensure that OFWs affected by the coronavirus disease have access to health and support services in the kingdom.
Locsin also asked Ambassador Abdullah Al-Bussairy in a meeting on Monday to expedite the repatriation of the remains of Filipinos who died due to COVID-19.
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