Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the government has repatriated 1,456,364 Filipinos from abroad since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Lorenzana reported to President Rodrigo Duterte that of this number, 1,169,447 were overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and 296,917 were returning residents.
The government said that this has been the biggest repatriation effort so far conducted by the country due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Sen. Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, said that a major concern about repatriated Filipinos was the lack of job opportunities in the Philippines.
“The last thing that we want to happen, amid the current situation, is for the OFWs to be among the unemployed citizens in the country,” Villanueva said.
The senator is pushing for a unified inventory of skills of repatriated OFWs.
“To begin with, the DOLE and OWWA should account for all of the repatriated OFWs and create an inventory. We should have an inventory where we can match their skills and competencies to available talent and jobs. In this reintegration, we can check their skills and which jobs are fit for them,” he added.