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More than 220,000 stranded OFWs now home

Keith A. Calayag



DFA welcomes arriving OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. (DFA Facebook)

A total of 22,426 out of some 24,000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in quarantine facilities are now home, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reported on Saturday during the Laging Handa virtual press briefing.

All expenses were paid for by the government, Roque said, while disputing the claim of a labor group that OFWs under the Duterte administration are being disregarded.

“Inuwi po natin ang lahat ng manggagawa natin, binigyan natin ng libreng PCR testing, binigyan natin ng libreng pamasahe sa eroplano, sa bus at sa barko,” Roque said. “Hindi po yan garbage-like treatment.  VIP treatment po yan.”

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Department of Health on 25 May to make sure all stranded OFWs are sent to their hometowns.

Some OFWs have complained they have been in quarantine facilities for over a month.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday apologized to thousands of stranded OFWs and vowed it will not happen again.