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OWWA urges returning OFWs to postpone their trips

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has urged returning overseas Filipinos (OFWs) to postpone their trips home.

“My advice to our beloved OFW: kindly postpone your planned trip to our dear country, because there’s an increase in the new cases of COVID-19 and the escalation of stayers in our hotel quarantine facilities,” OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac said.

The OWWA chief, however, said that the government will try its best to accommodate all returning OFWs.

The department has requested an additional P9.8 billion budget to augment its current repatriation fund.

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Cacdac said that they have projected that the P6.2-billion 2021 budget for the hotel, transportation, and food expenses of returning OFWs will only last until April or May.

“Secretary [Silvestre] Bello wrote to Secretary Avisado as a preemptive measure to receive supplemental funding from the national government,” Cacdac said. “That’s for the remainder of the year, so P9.8 billion. That is subject to the condition that the same conditions prevail.”

Returning OFWs are subjected to mandatory quarantine and testing on the 5th day except if they are showing symptoms upon arrival based on the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) protocols.

Cacdac said that extended quarantine among returning OFWs means the fund for repatriations gets depleted easily.

OWWA report earlier this week said that around 10,000 OFWs are staying in quarantine facilities. Around 80,000 to 100,000 more OFWs expected to come home this year.

Staff Report

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