By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang said on Monday that Filipinos returning to the country will have to shoulder the expenses of their quarantine unless they are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In his Monday press briefing, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said non-OFWs will have to shoulder their accommodation during their stay in the quarantine facility aside from the testing which will be taken care of by PhilHealth.
“Sagot po ng PhilHealth yung testing. Yung kanilang accommodation, kung ikaw ay OFW at meron kang mga dokumento, bayad po ‘yan ng OWWA (The PhilHealth will shoulder the testing but for their accommodation, they have to pay for it. If they are OFWs with appropriate documents, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will take care of it),” he said.
According to Roque, all arriving Filipinos and foreign nationals will undergo orientation by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) upon their arrival in the country.
They will also undergo the RT-PCR test and will have to stay in a quarantine facility while waiting for the result of the test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Those whose tests turn out positive will be referred to a hospital or a quarantine facility while those who are negative will be released and transported to their final destination through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) or local government units (LGUs).
The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) has repeatedly urged LGUs to allow Filipinos from other countries to pass checkpoints.
The LGUs are also ordered to ensure the unhampered transit of OFWs who completed the 14-day quarantine and those who will undergo the mandatory two-week isolation.
They were also asked to allow the docking of maritime vessels in their ports to assist OFWs coming home to the country.
“Libu-libong milya ang kanilang tinahak para makauwi. Ang daming protocol po na sinusundan para po makabalik sila sa bansa. Kaya pauwiin nyo na po sila. Hindi po sila banta sa kalusugan ng inyong mga bayan (They traveled thousands of miles and followed numerous protocols just to come home so please allow themto. They are not a threat to your health),” IATF co-chairperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.