Gov't urged to address concerns of OFWs staying at 'filthy' quarantine hotel

Gov't urged to address concerns of OFWs staying at 'filthy' quarantine hotel
Filipinos who availed general amnesty granted by the Kuwaiti government are pictured gathering at the Kuwait International Airport Terminal 4, on April 3, 2020 on their home to Manila amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
AFP / Yasser Al-Zayyat

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros urged the government Friday to ensure quarantine facilities designated for returning overseas workers do not have poor and unhealthy conditions.

Hontiveros issued the statement after ABS-CBN reported that some OFWs who recently returned to the country expressed alarm at the “filthy and unhygienic” conditions at a quarantine hotel in Novaliches, Quezon City.

The OFWs reportedly encountered dirty linen, brown water coming out of the hotel’s faucets and insects on floors.

“It is unacceptable that our OFWs in this time of crisis are forced to suffer these unhealthy, unhygienic and undignified conditions, and government should act swiftly and decisively to solve this problem,” the senator said.

She called on the DOH to do more to prevent quarantine hotels from becoming hotspots of diseases not limited to the coronavirus disease. The DOH, through the Bureau of Quarantine, clears and oversees the hotels being used for the mandatory 14-day quarantine period imposed on returning OFWs.

“We are urging DOH to use its powers and resources and see to it that the concerns and complaints of these poor workers are immediately addressed. We should not allow workers to get sick because of the poor sanitary condition in places where they are staying,” Hontiveros said.

She added that the DOH and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration provide OFWs stranded due to travel restrictions and those undergoing quarantine proper food and lodging during the crisis. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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