Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) quarantine facilities reserved for overseas Filipino workers arriving in the Philippines will soon be filled, according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
According to OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, those inside the quarantine facilities were almost as many as at the height of the repatriation of OFWs in May 2020.
Because of this, according to OWWA, it will be a big help if the number of entrants to the country is reduced first.
OWWA also admitted that they are running out of budget due to the number of cases and the length of stay in the quarantine facility of some returning OFWs.
“Tayo ay nagmamakawaawa sa ating DBM (Department of Budget and Management) at sa Kongreso na kung maaari ay bigyan tayo ng supplemental funding kasi nga talagang nakikita natin na all year round na budget of P6.2B dahil sa pagtriple at quadruple ng hotel stay ng ating OFWs mauubos bandang gitna ng taon,” said Cacdac.
Quarantine is a requirement for OFWs entering the Philippines.
Upon arrival in the Philippines, they will be taken to quarantine facilities, where they will for a week or more because they will be subjected to swab testing on the 5th day of quarantine.
Quarantine facilities for OFWs filling up: OWWA
So the office requested to postpone the repatriation in the country first.
“Kasi the way we see this para rin ito sa OFWs. We don’t want them to be inconvenienced and also stressed, na congested tao sa Manila. They have to be transported outside of Metro Manila to be quarantined. They have to be placed in a quarantine facility na punong puno sila doon,” said Cacdac.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has allowed Philippine passport holders to enter based on the new order of the National Task Force against coronavirus disease.
This is after the pandemic task force said on Thursday that only overseas Filipino workers will be allowed to enter the country.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana admitted that the National Task Force’s move was not the right one.
Despite this, foreigners are still prohibited from entering the country from March 22 to April 21, unless the foreign passport holder includes a Filipino spouse or child, diplomat, or seafarer under the crew change program or medical repatriation companions.