The government is ready to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be stranded in the country due to Hong Kong’s flight ban, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said Thursday.
“Kung wala silang matutuluyan dito sa Maynila, kung taga-probinsiya sila, taga-ibang regions, ay tutulungan natin sila magkaroon ng shelter, food and accommodations,” said OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
(If they have no place to stay here in Manila, we will help them have shelter, food, and accommodations if they are from the provinces, from other regions.)
“Assistance na rin ng transport from the airport, kung saan man nila gustong magpahatid, nakahanda sila ngayon na tulungan ang mga posibleng ma-stranded,” he added.
(Transport assistance from the airport, wherever they want to go, they are now ready to help those who may be stranded.)
Hong Kong banned inbound flights to some countries, including the Philippines, from January 8 to 21 as a measure against the spread of COVID-19.
Inbound flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Britain, and the United States, including interchanges, would be banned from Jan. 8 to Jan 21, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told reporters.
“We’re yet to see a fifth wave yet, but we’re on the verge,” Lam said.
OWWA to help OFWs affected by HK flight ban
The Migrante group in Hong Kong had earlier asked the government to provide assistance to OFWs affected by the flight ban.
Philippine Airlines flight PR 300 to Hong Kong has been canceled in the next two weeks, but flight PR 301 will continue to carry passengers from Hong Kong to the Philippines.
AirAsia Philippines has also canceled flights. In addition, they are said to be looking into whether there will be other regional flights that can be canceled depending on the COVID-19 situation of the countries.
Cebu Pacific flights have also been canceled since December 30 because 3 of their passengers from Manila on December 29 tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Hong Kong.
Aside from Hong Kong flights, Cebu Pacific also canceled some domestic flights from January 7 to 10 due to quarantined employees.