THE government will limit the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to 1,200 to 1,500 per day to avoid overcrowding in the quarantine facilities, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza said on Friday, June 5.
“Ayaw na po nating mangyari iyong nakaraan na umabot ng isang buwan, napagakasunduan po namin na limang araw lang ang maximum na nasa Maynila ang OFWs,” Lorenzana said.
“Kaya iyong darating na 42,000 na OFWs, ang gagawin namin, 1,200 a day (lang ang papasok ng bansa). Kung lumuwag-luwag, 1,500 to 2,000,” he added.
At least 28,000 OFWs have returned to the country due to the pandemic.
As a protocol, they will undergo testing for the novel coronavirus upon arrival and will be brought to a quarantine facility for the 14-day mandatory isolation.
The novel coronavirus, or Sars-CoV-2, causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which has an incubation period of up to 14 days.
OFWs complained in May about the delay in the release of their test results, forcing them to stay in quarantine for more than 14 days.
Lorenzana clarified that the RT-PCR test is free for OFWs, including seafarers. RT-PCR stands for reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction test, which detects the virus.
“Iyong mga returning Filipinos po na tourusts, students, permanent residents of the Philippines, they will be processed separately from OFWs. Yung hindi po OFWs, sa kanilang gastos po iyong (Covid-19 test and 14-day quarantine period nila),” Lorenzana said. (SunStar Philippines)