Repatriated OFWs to be home within 72 hours

June 10, 2020
Overseas Filipino workers
RETURNING HOME — Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) heading to their hometowns after completing mandatory quarantine queue at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 during a send-off on May 26, 2020. The government has put in place “remedial measures” to ensure that all repatriated OFWs will be sent to their respective hometowns immediately, if possible within 72 hours. PNA photo by AVITO C. DALAN

MALACANANG on Wednesday said the government has put in place “remedial measures” to ensure that all repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be sent to their respective hometowns immediately, if possible within 72 hours.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government wants to replicate how they ferried repatriated OFWs who arrived at the Clark International Airport on June 5 to their respective destinations just 72 hours since they returned to the country.

“Because we implemented the strategy of, among others, swabbing them and utilizing labs outside of Metro Manila, they [OFWs] were able to leave the quarantine facility within 72 hours and we want to do this for every OFW,” he said in an interview in ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

Roque acknowledged complaints of OFWs being stuck in quarantine beyond the mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine but assured that steps have been taken to ensure that they will not stay there for more than five days.

“We’re confident that the time that the OFWs have to spend in different quarantine areas will be a lot less,” he said.

To date, he said the government has opened more gateways, such as the Clark International Airport, to welcome repatriated OFWs, who have to immediately undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Recruitment and manning agencies also have the freedom to choose the lab they want to process PCR tests, he added.

“In other words, we have implemented a free market even in PCR testing. No more playing favorites. Whoever can do it efficiently and at the cheapest price, we have given the OFWs and their principles liberty to choose,” he said.

OFWs can also opt to go straight to their hotels, which are being used as quarantine facilities unless they prefer being tested at airports.

He said the government continues to establish more laboratories that can do the Covid-19 testing and maximize its testing capacity.

“We’re still aggressively pursuing the establishment of more laboratories because we don’t have enough. It’s not just the lab capacity, it’s the actual testing being done. We have to improve not just the capacity but also to make sure that they all have supplies so that they can maximize their capacities,” he said.

Currently, there are a total of 52 laboratories, including 33 operated by the government that can do 41,990 Covid-19 tests per day, National Policy Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio “Vince” Dizon said.

The largest private-sector facility is run by the Philippine Red Cross, which has a capacity of 12,000 tests per day.

He said the government is looking to increase the testing capacity to 50,000 tests per day by June.

Around 300,000 OFWs whose jobs have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to arrive in the next three months, he added. MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday said the government has put in place “remedial measures” to ensure that all repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be sent to their respective hometowns immediately, if possible within 72 hours.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government wants to replicate how they ferried repatriated OFWs who arrived at the Clark International Airport on June 5 to their respective destinations just 72 hours since they returned to the country.

“Because we implemented the strategy of, among others, swabbing them and utilizing labs outside of Metro Manila, they [OFWs] were able to leave the quarantine facility within 72 hours and we want to do this for every OFW,” he said in an interview in ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

Roque acknowledged complaints of OFWs being stuck in quarantine beyond the mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine but assured that steps have been taken to ensure that they will not stay there for more than five days.

“We’re confident that the time that the OFWs have to spend in different quarantine areas will be a lot less,” he said.

To date, he said the government has opened more gateways, such as the Clark International Airport, to welcome repatriated OFWs, who have to immediately undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Recruitment and manning agencies also have the freedom to choose the lab they want to process PCR tests, he added.

“In other words, we have implemented a free market even in PCR testing. No more playing favorites. Whoever can do it efficiently and at the cheapest price, we have given the OFWs and their principles liberty to choose,” he said.

OFWs can also opt to go straight to their hotels, which are being used as quarantine facilities unless they prefer being tested at airports.

He said the government continues to establish more laboratories that can do the Covid-19 testing and maximize its testing capacity.

“We’re still aggressively pursuing the establishment of more laboratories because we don’t have enough. It’s not just the lab capacity, it’s the actual testing being done. We have to improve not just the capacity but also to make sure that they all have supplies so that they can maximize their capacities,” he said.

Currently, there are a total of 52 laboratories, including 33 operated by the government that can do 41,990 Covid-19 tests per day, National Policy Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio “Vince” Dizon said.

The largest private-sector facility is run by the Philippine Red Cross, which has a capacity of 12,000 tests per day.

He said the government is looking to increase the testing capacity to 50,000 tests per day by June.

Around 300,000 OFWs whose jobs have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to arrive in the next three months, he added. MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday said the government has put in place “remedial measures” to ensure that all repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be sent to their respective hometowns immediately, if possible within 72 hours.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government wants to replicate how they ferried repatriated OFWs who arrived at the Clark International Airport on June 5 to their respective destinations just 72 hours since they returned to the country.

“Because we implemented the strategy of, among others, swabbing them and utilizing labs outside of Metro Manila, they [OFWs] were able to leave the quarantine facility within 72 hours and we want to do this for every OFW,” he said in an interview in ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

Roque acknowledged complaints of OFWs being stuck in quarantine beyond the mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine but assured that steps have been taken to ensure that they will not stay there for more than five days.

“We’re confident that the time that the OFWs have to spend in different quarantine areas will be a lot less,” he said.

To date, he said the government has opened more gateways, such as the Clark International Airport, to welcome repatriated OFWs, who have to immediately undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Recruitment and manning agencies also have the freedom to choose the lab they want to process PCR tests, he added.

“In other words, we have implemented a free market even in PCR testing. No more playing favorites. Whoever can do it efficiently and at the cheapest price, we have given the OFWs and their principles liberty to choose,” he said.

OFWs can also opt to go straight to their hotels, which are being used as quarantine facilities unless they prefer being tested at airports.

He said the government continues to establish more laboratories that can do the Covid-19 testing and maximize its testing capacity.

“We’re still aggressively pursuing the establishment of more laboratories because we don’t have enough. It’s not just the lab capacity, it’s the actual testing being done. We have to improve not just the capacity but also to make sure that they all have supplies so that they can maximize their capacities,” he said.

Currently, there are a total of 52 laboratories, including 33 operated by the government that can do 41,990 Covid-19 tests per day, National Policy Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio “Vince” Dizon said.

The largest private-sector facility is run by the Philippine Red Cross, which has a capacity of 12,000 tests per day.

He said the government is looking to increase the testing capacity to 50,000 tests per day by June.

Around 300,000 OFWs whose jobs have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to arrive in the next three months, he added. PNA