MANILA – More than 31,000 migrant Filipino workers have returned to their homes after being stuck in quarantine facilities in Metro Manila, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said Saturday.
The government expedited the return of some 25,000 overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) to their respective provinces from May 25 to 31, OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a public briefing.
Some 6,700 others were transported from June 1 to 5, he added.
Cacdac assured the public that the repatriated OFWs complied with the health protocols set by the Department of Health (DOH). Those who tested positive for COVID-19, he said, were mostly asymptomatic.
A majority of the repatriated OFWs came from the cruise ship industry, which Cacdac said is among the hardest-hit sectors by the global pandemic.
"The cruise ship industry was badly hit and is not expected to recover in the next few months. That's why they will lose their jobs temporarily," he said in Filipino.
"However, their employers said they will bring them back immediately once they resume cruise operations."
To date, some 72,000 OFWs have received financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program.
OFWs who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis are entitled to a one-time $200 or P10,000 financial assistance.