THE return to Iloilo of around 100 Ilonggo overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been stranded in Manila was not pushed through Tuesday, April 14.

Melissa Banias, of the Office of Civil Defense-Western Visayas, bared this during a meeting with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., members of the Covid-19 Task Force and municipal mayors at Casa Real de Iloilo on Monday, April 13.

The OFWs were supposed to fly back to Iloilo from Manila Tuesday, April 14.

But Defensor and 35 town mayors of Iloilo wrote to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to oppose the transport of the more than 100 OFWs.

The opposition came after one Ilonggo OFW who was among the Filipinos who arrived in Iloilo from Cebu last April 9 tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Defensor said he understands the OFWs wanting to return home, but said it may pose potential spread of the virus in Iloilo province.

“We like to see our OFWs home with their families but allowing them to come home at this time only increases the risk of more Covid-19 cases in the province of Iloilo, puts the safety of their own families at risk,

and further extends the deadline of our enhanced community quarantine,” he said.

The OFWs are some of the Ilonggos in Manila who cannot go home due to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon.

As of April 14, Iloilo Province has 15 Covid-19 cases, with four deaths and two recoveries. Eight patients are currently in home quarantine, while one has been admitted in a hospital.

Western Visayas has 40 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Of the number, 15 are in Iloilo, six in Aklan, two in Antique, four in Capiz, one in Negros Occidental, seven in Bacolod City and five in Iloilo City.

Guimaras Island-province is the only province in Western Visayas has not recorded any Covid-19 cases, as of Tuesday, April 14. (SunStar Philippines)