Negros Occidental is now in the thick of preparations for the possible influx of Overseas Filipino Workers, especially with President Duterte’s directive giving pertinent agencies a one-week deadline for the return of the repatriates, numbering to 24,000.
Negros Occidental Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Zeaphard Gerhart V. Caelian said the province is currently running out of quarantine facilities.
Mambukal Mountain Resort, the healing facilities in EB Magalona, and Cadiz are “all full”.
“We are now undergoing preparations for the 185 returning OFWs, and we are thinking of negotiating with hotels [as quarantine area for repatriates],” he told DNX.
The information they received about incoming OFWs came at the last minute and was quite sudden (“gulpihanay”).
The provincial government, he said, will “closely coordinate” with OWWA on the return of the OFWs.
Yesterday, 76 stranded Negrenses and OFWs arrived at the Bacolod Silay Airport, they were sent to Mambukal for a 14-day mandatory quarantine will take further tests to check for possible COVID infection.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press briefing, revealed that President earlier today had ordered the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Health, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration one week to facilitate the return of the 24,000 OFWs who are still waiting for their RT-PCR results.
Roque said the President has been growing impatient with the extremely long process involved sending the OFWs home, given that they have already undergone the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The President has already given the pertinent officials permission to use all government resources – buses, boat, or plane – to facilitate the return of the OFWs.