The government has sent home more than 400,000 overseas Filipino workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said based on the report of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), 410,211 OFWs have arrived in the country as of Jan. 16.
They have been quarantined and were cleared of COVID.
OWWA said 8,273 OFWs were transported to their provinces last week from 7,895 the preceding week.
“After their ordeal in their country of origin, our dear OFWs were all provided accommodation, food, transportation, and cash assistance by the government. Now, they are safely home with their families,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said in a statement Sunday.
DoLE said 60,000 to 80,000 more OFWs are estimated to be repatriated this year.
“Those awaiting repatriation form part of the over 520,000 OFWs displaced by the COVID pandemic that continues to plague economies around the globe,” the Labor department said.
The government started transporting OFWs en masse last May after COVID tests and quarantine.
The Department of Labor and Employment has been extending a one-time P10,000 or $200 cash aid under the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program to OFWs whose incomes were affected by the pandemic, both on-site and those stranded in the country.