Duterte report: Up to 100,000 OFWs may be repatriated due to pandemic
The number of repatriated migrant workers continue to rise.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman, file
Duterte report: Up to 100,000 OFWs may be repatriated due to pandemic
(Philstar.com) - June 22, 2020 - 9:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Palace is expecting that the number of repatriated migrant Filipinos due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would reach 100,000 in the coming months.

In his 13th report to Congress on the implementation of the 'Bayanihan' Law, President Rodrigo Duterte said that there are nearly 29,963 seafarers who are expected to be sent home, while the foreign service posts of the Department of Foreign Affairs reported that another 17,830 land-based OFWs have signified their intent to be repatriated.

"Barring any complications, this would bring the total number of repatriates to 93,675," Duterte also said.

But the chief executive said that due to the continuing impact of the coronavirus, “the number of repatriated Filipinos could reach 100,000 or even higher in the coming months.”

The STAR reported on June 1 that the labor department said the Middle East accounts for most stranded OFWs with 83,483, while 12,050 are in Europe and the Americas, and 3,082 are in nearby Asian countries.

Long waits at quarantine facilities

The returning migrant workers previously posed a challenge to the government, as the OFWs reported being stranded — beyond the two-week mandatory quarantine period — in isolation facilities across Metro Manila waiting for the clearances.

It was not until Duterte ordered that all OFWs stuck in quarantine facilities should be sent home that the government ferried home, in a matter of days, 25,022 OFWs stranded in Metro Manila.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said last week that data from the labor department showed that a total of 50,105 Overseas Filipino Workers have been transported back to the home provinces as of June 15.

The Department of Labor and Employment also distributed P1.44 billion to about 139,000 OFWs through its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong program.  — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Alexis Romero, Mayen Jamaylin

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