The government has repatriated over 600,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic since May 2020.
There are also between 70,000 to 130,000 more OFWs expected to return, aside from those who regularly go home to take their vacations.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac reported on Monday that 612,000 Filipinos have been sent to their home provinces.
“There are 612,000 Filipinos who came home due to the pandemic and have been transported back to their home regions,” Cacdac said during the Laging Handa briefing.
He said OWWA still has a budget until September. Beyond that, the agency will ask for additional funding.
“We have received a replenishment of PHP5.2 billion which will be good until the end of the third quarter. It was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte through the Department of Budget and Management. We’re good until September,” Cacdac said.
Meanwhile, about 100 OFWs have already availed of the seven-day special quarantine period approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force.
“The quarantine protocol is for those who came from the 57 green-listed countries,” Cacdac said.
Green countries are classified by the Department of Health as low-risk countries or jurisdictions based on Covid-19 incidence rate.
He also reminded OFWs to have their vaccination documents validated by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the country where they are employed.
“The Bureau of Quarantine here in the Philippines will accept those (validated vaccination documents) so that your quarantine protocol will only be seven days instead of 10,” Cacdac said.
The 57 green countries are Albania, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Benin, Belize, The British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Eswatini, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Rwanda, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turks and Caicos Islands (UK), Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.