MANILA – All local government units (LGUs) have agreed to implement home quarantine for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) instead of isolating them from their residences, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said.
“All of our LGUs are already accepting OFWs as per your instruction. At first, they had doubts because they are uncertain if these OFWs can infect others, so we had an agreement with all LGUs, mayors, governors that all of them will be accepted but they will impose an additional home quarantine,” Año told President Rodrigo Duterte in Filipino during the televised meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Thursday night.
He said returning OFWs are negative for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) based on test results they obtained after undergoing a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
“If their homes are really congested, they can be put in isolation facilities in their barangays so that they are within reach of their families,” he added.
He added that close to 12,000 OFWs have already booked trips and are set to arrive in their provinces on Saturday.
Under government guidelines, all returning OFWs are required to undergo facility-based quarantine and PCR tests.
However, several OFWs have complained of being stuck in quarantine facilities beyond the 14-day period.
This prompted the President to order the departments of labor and health to send home the 24,000 OFWs stuck in quarantine centers within a week.
Some 300,000 OFWs are expected to return to the country this year as their host countries have been sending them home, authorities said.
The national government assured it would expedite the processing and release of Covid-19 test results of OFWs and accommodate a fresh batch of repatriates expected to arrive this May and June. (PNA)