Malacañang Palace announced Monday that non-overseas Filipino workers returning to the Philippines would have to shoulder the accommodation costs during their quarantine period at government-accredited facilities upon their arrival in the country.
“Kung kayo po ay isang OFW, iyan po ay libre, babayaran ng OWWA [Overseas Workers Welfare Administration]; kung kayo po ay hindi OFW, kayo po ang magbabayad ng quarantine facility,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
(If you are an OFW, that is free OWWA [Overseas Workers Welfare Administration] will pay for it. But if you are not an OFW, you will pay for the quarantine facility.)
Roque said this policy was included in the country’s quarantine and testing procedures for all arriving overseas Filipinos (OFs) and foreigners.
He also said that the OFs and foreign nationals would be briefed on the quarantine process, and there would be centralized processing of all required documents.
Returning Filipinos and foreigners will then undergo the RT-PCR tests and quarantine for two to five days while waiting for the results.
Those who will test positive for COVID-19 will immediately be admitted as patients at government-run hospitals or the temporary health facilities.
Individuals who tested negative will be allowed to travel to their respective destinations assisted by the Department of Transportation or local government units, Roque said.
Foreigners, non-OFWs returning to PH must pay quarantine accommodation
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said in a notice to airmen (NOTAM) on Saturday, May 9 said the NAIA would resume operations for inbound flights.
This is after a week-long suspension on international flights, which started on May 3, Sunday, to prevent the spread of pandemic coronavirus in the Philippines.
According to Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval, only the following are eligible to enter the Philippines:
- Filipinos’ foreign spouse and children
- Accredited foreign government officials
- International organization officials
- Foreign airline crew
Sandoval, on the other hand, added that only foreign nationals, permanent residents, and student visa holders abroad and overseas Filipino workers would be allowed to exit the Philippines.
International commercial flights may land at NAIA on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the NOTAM said.
Airlines also should secure approval from CAAP 48 hours before their scheduled departure from their airport of origin.
This allows NAIA to give slots and reschedule flights to maintain the 400 passengers per day capacity limit as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.