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OWWA or agencies to cover food expenses of returning OFWs in quarantine vessels – PCG

The food expenses of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) currently sheltered in the quarantined vessels will be shouldered by the manning and recruitment agencies or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Admiral Joel Garcia said Monday.
In an interview with GMA News, Garcia said the recruitment agencies of the repatriated OFWs will provide for their needs and OWWA will come to the picture if the agencies failed to execute their task.
The PCG is tasked to maintain and address the needs of repatriated seafarers and OFWs staying in the quarantine ships.
“Ganito ‘yan, una, nagvolunteer po sa atin ang 2Go, pangalawa, tingnan mo po ‘yung operational cost ng barko, in other words ang ipinakiusap po sa atin ng 2Go, bayaran po ng manning agencies ‘yung P180 per day nila na pakain,” he explained.
“‘Yung mga di na natutulungan ng agencies, sinasalo na ng OWWA. Ang OWWA na ang nagbabayad. Ang usapan ng OWWA at 2Go diyan, 2Go will just put the bill sa OWWA.”
Under the health and quarantine protocols of the Department of Health (DOH), OFWs are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The quarantine vessels M/V St. John Paul II and M/V St. Anthony de Padua offered by 2Go Group will serve as temporary shelters for OFWs.
All OFWs who were placed under quarantine inside the ship will take rapid COVID-19 testing.
Garcia added that ninety-five percent of the OFWs in the quarantine ships were land-based while only five percent were seafarers.
He also added that men and women have separated quarters and strict social distancing measures were observed.
“Hindi ‘yan magkakasama, ‘yung male and female… At saka kung ikaw ay nakasakay ng passenger ships natin, hiwalay talaga ‘yung male at toilet ng female parang sa hotel,” the PCG commandant said.
The PCG reiterated that sanitation and food supplies are observed inside the vessels.
READ MORE:DOTr addresses issues on lodging raised by returning OFWs on quarantine ship

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