PH braces for 26,000 OFWs arrivals next few weeks

The Philippine government is bracing for the arrival of 26,000- 27,000 Filipino land-based and sea-based workers from overseas, a member of the Inter-agency Task Force Group (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said.
Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III told The Filipino Times that the government is expecting that the OFWs who will fly back to the Philippines in the next weeks will not only come from cruise liners where there are a massive shutdown of services due to coronavirus outbreak.
“There are also land based OFWs who were told by their employers that they could no longer sustain their business and thus, they have to go home,” Densing said.
Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, estimated a bigger number of potential displaced OFWs — close to half million Filipinos or 420,000.
“We did a value chain analysis and found that that is in fact a net number. Sa value chain analysis po namin ng major economies and sectors where there are OFWs, we found that up to 420,000 may come home to the Philippines at some point within the next six months, with 170,000 to 180,000 of them coming home because of temporary circumstances,” Salceda, an economist, said.
The Albay lawmaker said the government welfare support should be prepared and mandatory testing for COVID-19 should also be made available to them to prevent a second wave of infection.
“If we cannot test them, that is potentially a massive wave vectors that, if they infect others, could overwhelm the health care system. So they will need to be tested and isolated,” he added.

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