COVID-19 pandemic so far affected over 478,000 OFWs, says DOLE
MANILA, Philippines — Some 478,838 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are now affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III revealed Thursday.
Specifically, Belo said the worldwide outbreak has already displaced 469,959 and sickened 8,880 OFWs.
From the number of displaced workers, 230,424 have so far been repatriated, he added. However, over 100,000 displaced OFWs have refused to go home to the Philippines, he also said.
“It is surprising that of the displaced workers, 104,813 opted to stay on-site. Hindi sila umuwi,” Bello said during the Senate hearing on DOLE’s proposed 2021 budget.
The labor agency chief likewise disclosed that an additional 13,335 OFWs are still up for repatriation as 70,647 migrant workers remain stranded in different parts of the world.
Meanwhile, of the 8,880 OFWs infected with COVID-19, Bello said 4,536 have already recovered. He also said that 848 of them have died.
“Marami na nauwi na kakababayan natin na namatay. We already repatriated 299 dead OFWs, 80% of them died because of COVID-19,” Bello said.
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