REGARDLESS of whether the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic is raging or not, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will continue to repatriate overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

This was the assurance of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, saying repatriating beleaguered OFWs is a continuing program of the government.

“Many of our OFWs became helpless when the pandemic struck and so the government launched a massive repatriation drive never done before,” Bello said in a statement.

"As long as we have migrant workers, who want to go home but can't do so because of difficulties due to the pandemic, we will continue the repatriation program," he added.

Under the program, OFWs were brought back into the country via chartered flights at the expense of the government.

Upon their arrival, they were accommodated in hotels for quarantine and Covid-19 testing.

Once cleared, the OFWs are being transported home to their respective provinces.

Bello said as of November 28, a total of 809,374 OFWs have already been transported back to their home regions.

Said OFWs consisted mostly of pandemic-affected workers and displaced OFWs due to lockdowns that crippled world economies. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)