All OFWs allowed to return to home provinces cleared of COVID-19: DILG

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2020 12:38 PM

Repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) wait in line at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City on May 25, 2020. The balikbayans are scheduled to take their flights to their respective home province after undergoing the mandatory quarantine for inbound Filipinos in Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- All overseas Filipino workers allowed to go home to their respective provinces had tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.

Año assured local government units that the returning OFWs underwent quarantine and have health certificates to prove that they were cleared of the virus.

"Lahat ito ay dumaan sa tamang protocol. Mayroon silang testing through PCR at lahat ito negative. Meron din silang certificate ng minimum 14 days quarantine," Año said in a virtual press briefing.

(They went through the proper protocol. They tested negative via PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. They also have a certificate that they underwent the 14-day minimum quarantine.)

"Kumpleto ang papeles ng mga iyan," he added.

(They have complete documents.)

The DILG chief said local governments across the country have been advised of the arrival of OFWs in their home provinces.

"Ang gusto sana natin mabilis lang ang pagdating dito ng ating mga OFW. Sandali lang sila titigil sa Metro Manila," Año said.

(We want our OFWs to stay in Metro Manila for a short period of time only.)

The government is working to bring some 24,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers to their home provinces within the week, on President Rodrigo Duterte's orders.

This followed reports that some repatriates have been stuck in Metro Manila for a month due to pending coronavirus test results. 

The Philippines has repatriated some 27,000 migrant workers and around 43,000 others are expected to come home until June, officials earlier said.