NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson revealed Friday, May 29, that he was advised by Secretary Eduardo Año to call the police to compel uncooperative overseas Filipino worker (OFW) repatriates to follow protocols of the province upon their arrival.
Lacson discussed his concern with Año and Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19, regarding the refusal of some repatriated OFWs to cooperate with the protocols of the province for their processing upon arrival.
“Sec. Ano advised Lacson to ask the assistance of the PNP if necessary, to compel cooperation, given that some of them came from high risk countries,” Charina Magallanes-Tan revealed.
Lacson hopes that the situation won’t reach the point where the province will need the assistance of the PNP for our OFWs to cooperate.
He with other local officials held a teleconference Friday with Año and Galvez.
Of the 93 OFWs who arrived in Negros Occidental at 3 a.m. Friday, only seven boarded the bus to be brought to E.B. Magalona, while the others remained at the airport, Lacson added.
He said they will be transferred to a hotel within the day.
The governor said he doesn’t know why they didn’t go to E.B. Magalona.
“Maybe the first batch told them it’s okay to sleep in the airport, and it’s comfortable,” he said.
Initially the flight was cancelled last night, then it pushed through, he added.
“They arrived at 3:30 a.m. on very short notice, and there was no hotel available,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lacson assured that Negros Occidental has enough rooms to accommodate the influx of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“I also would like to stress that it is not a question of opening of hotel for these OFWs. We have to make sure that health personnel and security in place. One nurse is not enough. We should have enough personnel to handle this,” he said.
He added that “it is important that we have enough personnel to take care of our fellow Negrenses.”
The governor is asking for a little cooperation from the repatriated OFWs, as they will be with their families in a few days if they test negative in the RT-PCR test conducted by the province. (TDE)