Department of Labor and Employment
June 16, 2020
Batch of 1k OFWs from ME arrive in Manila
More than 1,000 overseas Filipino workers from the Middle East arrived in Manila on Monday in three batches, the labor department reported Tuesday.
DOLE said the necessary repatriation assistance were provided to the OFWs who were flown home via chartered flights from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and then United Arabia Emirates.
Their return was facilitated through the close coordination among the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of Foreign Affairs and the employers, DOLE said.
Totalling 1,143, the first batch arrived via PAL comprised 345 OFWs from Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The workers have long completed their contracts with the Saudi Manpower Solutions Company (SMASCO) but could not be sent home immediately when the Saudi government imposed travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second batch was flown in via Qatar Airways consisting 410 OFWs from Lebanon. Cebu Pacific, meanwhile, flew in 400 OFWs, who were mostly wards in POLO Dubai.
In assisting the arriving workers, the OWWA repatriation team was joined by the Philippine Coast Guard to conduct swab tests. OWWA brought the returning workers to quarantine facilities while awaiting their Covid test results. OWWA will provide transport to Covid-free OFWs to their final destination provinces, in coordination with the local government units.
For a systematic tracing of OFWs in OWWA quarantine facilities and to organize their travel back home, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac requests all the assisted OFWs to download UWIAN NA app available at Google store or to register at uwianna.owwa.gov.ph.
“Our assisted OFWs may also check OWWA’s official page specially created for quarantine operations, https://www.facebook.com/OWWAQuarantineOps/?modal=admin_todo_tour. In that page, we share the lists of negative results from the PCG. You can also find hotline numbers of different agencies like Konsulta MD if you have medical concern, or Hopeline Philippines if you need counselling,” Cacdac said. ####