Palace calls for stricter security measures in gov't quarantine facilities after 8 OFWs 'escape'

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has called for the strict enforcement of security measures following the reported escape of some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from quarantine facilities.


According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, authorities are trying to locate these workers who fled the quarantine centers pending the results of their coronavirus tests.

"Well, paumanhin po ‘no, siguro dapat in-increase-an ang security doon sa mga hotels na ginagamit as quarantine facilities," he said in a virtual press briefing Monday.

(I'm sorry, but maybe the security must be increased in the hotels used as quarantine facilities.)

"Pero nangyari na po iyan. Patuloy pa pong hinahanap iyong ibang mga lumabas, bagama’t mayroon na pong isa na nasa kustodiya na ng mga awtoridad at binibigyan po ng PCR test iyong buong pamilya noong isang OFW na nahanap na," he added.

(But that has already happened. The search for the other people who escaped continues. One OFW is under the custody of authorities and the family is being given PCR testing.)

He noted that the government has required quarantine procedures for returning Filipinos to ensure their safety and health as well as those of their families.

"Patuloy po ang paghahanap sa iba, ito naman po ay para sa kanilang kalusugan din at kalusugan ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay (The search for others is still on. This is for their health and the health of their loved ones). I think there will be increased security na po in the different hotels that we are utilizing as quarantine areas," he added.

The Philippine Coast Guard earlier revealed that eight Filipino workers fled their quarantine facilities even though their test results have yet to be released. One of the OFWs has reportedly been found and brought to a coronavirus facility after testing positive for the coronavirus disease. The group pf Filipino workers may reportedly face charges for violating the country's quarantine protocols.

All OFWs arriving in the country are required to undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine to contain the spread of the disease. The government has provided provide lodging facilities for the returning Filipino workers to complete their two-week quarantine upon their arrival in the country.