By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are now in Metro Manila completing their 14-day quarantine period before returning to their home provinces.
“About 4,000 to 5,000 are awaiting to go home to the Visayas and Mindanao after they were able to complete the 14-day quarantine,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in the Laging Handa press briefing Tuesday.
He said they will coordinate with the Department of Transportation (DOTR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on how to bring home the stranded OFWs.
“We will coordinate with them so that we can have ‘mercy flights’ or voyages so those stranded here in Manila can go home to their home provinces,” Cacdac said.
He said many other seafarers were also unable to leave Metro Manila and were stranded in boarding houses, dormitories, and bed spacing facilities.
“We are helping them. We are also helping the domestic workers who were unable to leave because of the COVID crisis,” Cacdac said.
In all, he said they have been able to help almost 6,000 stranded OFWs.
The government imposed an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon last month to prevent the spread of COVID-19, limiting the movement of people.
Cacdac also said they will assist the 600 OFWs from Kuwait that are set to arrive in the country Tuesday.
“We will transport them all to an accommodation facility and take care of them until such time they can return to their provinces,” he said.
OWWA has been providing food, temporary shelter, and transportation assistance to stranded OFWs.