Friday, May 15, 2020

6,500 returning OFWs to receive certificate, clearance to secure transportation going home

More than 6,000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who tested negative for the coronavirus disease, will be given certificates that they can use to secure transportation back to their home provinces and cities, the Philippine Coast Guard said Friday, May 15. Admiral Joel Garcia, Coast Guard commandant, announced that 6,500 returning OFWs who underwent swab test administered by the Sub-Task Group for the Repatriation of OFWs, “will receive certificates from the Philippine Red Cross and quarantine clearances from the Bureau of Quarantine after yielding negative results on the RT-PCR testing for COVID-19.”

The certificate and clearance will be used by the OFWs to secure transportation from local manning agencies, Garcia said.

Garcia met with 62 local manning agencies last Thursday to seek their cooperation on the safe and secured transportation of OFWs who are cleared to go home this week.

“Naibigay na natin sa mga manning agencies yung listahan ng mga OFWs na may Red Cross certificate at quarantine clearance. Hiningi natin yung tulong nila na kausapin yung mga OFWs para makapaghanda at makakuha ng biyahe sa barko o eroplano ngayon Sabado o pagkatapos ng bagyo (we have submitted the list of OFWs with Red Cross certificate and quarantine certificate to the manning agencies. We sought their help to coordinate with the OFWs so they can prepare and secure transportation via ships or airplanes this Saturday or after the typhoon,” Garcia said.

While hundreds of OFWs, who completed their mandatory 14-day quarantine have already gone home, Garcia appealed for understanding from the OFWs staying at the three quarantine sites in Port Area, Manila , waiting for their swab analysis and release of necessary certificates.

“Iniingatan po natin na mahaluan ng COVID-19 positive ang mga taga-probinsya. There are 55 provinces na hindi under enhanced community quarantine. Ibig sabihin, halos lahat po ng nag-po-positibo, maliban sa NCR, ay nanggagaling sa abroad. (We do not want to bring positive cases in the provinces. There are 55 provinces not under the enhanced community quarantine. That means, almost all positive cases, aside from NCR, came from abroad),” Garcia explained.

“Ito po yung iniingatan natin - na hindi sila mahawaan. Kaya nauunawaan rin po natin yung mga LGU (local government unit) kung bakit mahigpit sila sa pagtanggap sa kanilang mga constituents (This is what we are taking care of - for them not to be infected. We understand why LGUs are enforcing strict measures on welcoming back their constituents),” the commandant furthered.

After the meeting with stakeholders and other concerned agencies, the Sub-Task Group for the Repatriation of OFWs also assured local manning agencies that Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Transportation will actively assist them on the release and transport of OFWs to their respective home provinces or cities.

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