Migrante Philippines has called for the immediate dismantling of the operations of COVID profiteers or COVIteers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The group issued the call after returning overseas Filipono workers (OFWs) complained of the exorbitant cost of COVID-19 test inside the airport.
According to Migrante, as much as Php 20, 000 per test is being charged by testing facilities in NAIA as it purports to comply with the government’s COVID-19 protocol.
“We want to get tested not only for the safety of our loved ones but because we all want this pandemic to end. But why does the government have to charge us heftily for a test when it should have been part of its basic services in the first place?,” the group said in a statement on Monday.
“In the middle of the pandemic, these COVIteers feast on every arriving OFWs because each one of us is worth Php 20,000 to them,” said Migrante Philippines,” Migrante added.
The group said the government should lessen the load of OFWs especially during this time.
“The least we expect from our government is to further bleed us dry during times of emergency. We decry the operations of the COVIteers (COVID profiteers) in NAIA and demand its immediate dismantling,” said Migrante Philippines.
“We have already shed our blood, sweat and tears just to set foot in our home country. Our lives are severely affected by the pandemic and we are ladened with the problem of bringing food to our family in the coming months. The government should have been lessening our load by not taking our money and giving us immediate aid,” the group added.
Migrante Philippines then called on the government to name, investigate and hold the COVIteers accountable and stop their money-making scheme.
It also called for free COVID test and quarantine services on all returning Filipinos as well as the immediate distribution of cash aid on all pandemic-stricken OFWs.
“Along with the medical frontliners, workers and farmers, we, OFWs and families, are risking it all for our country to get past the pandemic. We hope and we will ensure, by all means necessary, that the government shall do the same for us and the country,” ssid Migrante Philippines.