THE Philippine Department of foreign Affairs on Thursday, April 23, said it is expecting to bring home 35,000 overseas Filipino Workers amid the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe.
“As we expect to bring home over 35,000 more OFWs, we appeal to our kababayan (countrymen) to strictly observe and comply with the quarantine procedures imposed on all returning OFWs by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force),” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola in a statement.
The agency said it is collaborating with the Department of Health, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Philippine Coast Guard and the private sector “to ensure the safety and welfare of Filipinos around the world.”
A total of 818 repatriated OFWs on three separate chartered flights arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday afternoon and early morning Friday.
The latest batch of OFWs came from different parts of the world, including the UK, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Australia.
Upon their arrival, they underwent rapid testing for COVID-19 administered by doctors from the Philippine Coast Guard. They were also briefed on protocols before being transported to designated facilities where they will undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
The agency welcomed home 233 land-based OFWs from Jeddah and Riyadh, both in Saudi Arabia, and 341 Filipino seafarers of Costa Smeralda from Marseilles in France on Wednesday.
They were subjected to mandatory health assessment of the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ) upon disembarkation and will undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine as well as be subjected to Rapid Antibody Testing for COVID-19 in compliance with the DOH’s health protocols.
“DFA is unwavering in its commitment to assist kababayans who are severely affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic and to date, has successfully facilitated the repatriation of 19,407 Filipinos from all over the world,” the agency said.