By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said at least 40,000 overseas Filipino workers OFWs) are expected to return here in the country.
“For sea-based alone, we have about 25,000 set to come home. And maybe around 20,000 for the land-based OFWs,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a radio interview.
With many OFWs still expected to return, Cacdac said there is a need to empty the quarantine facilities to give way to those arriving.
So far, thousands of overseas Filipinos who arrived here are under quarantine in Metro Manila.
Cacdac said OFWs that have already completed their 14-day quarantine period will undergo testing in the “mega swabbing centers” that the government set up.
He asked those in OWWA facilities to wait for their turn for swabbing.
“We have to apologize to the around 7,000 still in different OWWA facilities. They really have to wait for their turn in the swabbing,” he said.
“The tests conducted to them will use the gold standard kits. As far as we know, it is respected by local government units. So once the OFW is cleared from the swab tests, they should be able to go home already,” added Cacdac.
The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 had earlier suspended all incoming international flights until May 9 to give the government enough time to decongest the quarantine facilities of repatriated OFWs.
OWWA has been providing assistance to stranded OFWs affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.