Overseas Filipino workers returning amid the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer be held for 14 days in Metro Manila for the mandatory quarantine as this will be done in their home provinces, according to a Department of Labor and Employment official last Tuesday.
Director Alice Visperas from the International Labor Affairs Bureau said the new protocol was agreed upon by the DOLE, the Philippine Red Cross, and other partner agencies.
Visperas also clarified that not all 340,000 OFWs worldwide who are affected by the pandemic intend to go home to the Philippines. Over 180,000 want to stay abroad; 85,000 are stranded and still waiting for travel documents; 18,000 are ready for repatriation; and 49,000 are already repatriated.
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government will only allow 1,200 to 1,500 returning OFWs to enter the country per day to prevent crowding in quarantine facilities.