Marikina City to shorten quarantine period for returning OFW residents

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020   •   443

The Marikina City government announced that returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are residents of the city will have shorter quarantine period.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said residents who are OFW returnees will no longer have to undergo the 14-day quarantine period but instead will immediately be transported to the city from the airport for a one or two-day quarantine.

“Pansamantala, isa o dalawang araw, iku-quarantine sila sa Marikina Hotel doon sa ating quarantine facility at doon iti-test na rin sila at isa-swab, (They will be quarantined at the Marikina Hotel, our quarantine facility, for one or two days. They will be tested there),” he said.

Since Marikina has its own testing center, Teodoro said the OFWs don’t need to wait for long periods of time to be able to go home to their families. In case any of them tests positive for COVID-19, the Marikina Mayor assured they will be given immediate medical attention.

According to the latest reports of the Marikina government, 264 returning OFWs that arrived since April are from Marikina City, 161 of them have already received assistance from the local government.

The local government aims to implement the new quarantine protocol by next week. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

OFW groups satisfied with President’s SONA

Maris Federez   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have expressed their gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte on his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Around 300 Filipinos representing several groups of OFWs from different countries met online and simultaneously watched the President’s SONA.

They said the chief executive did not let them down as he urged Congress “to pass a law establishing the Department of Overseas Filipino solely on addressing the concerns of Filipinos abroad and their families.”

Last March, the lower House passed the creation of the Department of Filipino Overseas and Foreign Deployment. The Senate, on the other hand, is still hearing the bill.

In his SONA, the President reiterated his commitment of support to OFWs.

He called on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other agencies to allocate trainings and programs for OFWs.

With this, the United Filipino Global International thanked the president for his concern over them.

“The SONA speech of the president, I think we are very happy kasi alam naman po namin ang kaniyang intention. Ang kaniyang speech ay para talaga tumulong nang totoo na walang halong pamumulitiko,” said Gemma Sotto, chairperson of United Filipino Global International. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

Around 100K OFWs sent home to their provinces

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 21, 2020

The Department of Labor of Employment (DOLE) has reported sending home around 100,000 repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

“The latest batch of 1,691 home-bound OFWs, all of whom tested negative for COVID-19, took their rides back to their respective provinces on Saturday based on data of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration,” DOLE said in a statement.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has assured that the government will exhaust all means to help OFWs regain jobs they lost abroad due to the pandemic.

The Labor Department also reported over 34,000 OFWs were sent home by the government to their respective regions last May, and more than 61,000 during the succeeding months.

Meanwhile, the number of OFWs affected by the pandemic seeking assistance further has soared to 572,442. —AAC

Solon pushes for military honors for OFWs who died of COVID-19 abroad

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for the granting of military honors to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who succumbed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) abroad as they can be considered as ‘modern-day heroes.’

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. in House Resolution No. 1027 said the sacrifices of OFWs and their significant contribution to the country’s economy are enough to merit them such military honors. 

Based on the latest count of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a total of 577 OFWs have already died of COVID-19 from the overall number of 8,679 confirmed cases across the globe. 

Datol said OFWs are qualified under The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines for their unconditional sacrifices as overseas workers. 

The lawmaker also proposed that the government shoulder the complete burial expenses of every OFW who died of COVID-19 abroad as part of the full military honors. 

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