312 more OFWs arriving tonight

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — A total of 312 Overseas Filipino Workers will be arriving today, Negros Occidental Incident Command Center Spokesperson Charina Magallanes-Tan said.

The number is on top of the 129 that arrived earlier today, 3 p.m.

The 312 will come in two batches: the first batch of 156 OFWs is arriving at 6 p.m., and the second batch of the same number will be arriving at 9 tonight.

The 129 who arrived earlier are already facility-quarantined at the province’s healing centers in EB Magalona, and Cadiz, Magallanes-Tan said.

The others will be brought to a local hotel here, she said, quoting the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

Provincial Disaster Management chief Zeaphard Gerhart V. Caelian earlier told DNX that the province is already running out of quarantine facilities to house the returning OFWs.

Zeaphard Gerhart V. Caelian

He pointed out that there was little time for them to prepared because announcements of arrivals and directives from national government came at the last-minute, giving them little time to prepare

As this developed, the Department of Interior and Local Government had ordered LGUs and regional directors of the interior and local government to facilitate the “unhampered mass transport” of repatriated OFWs to all regions in the country.

Interior and Local Government Usec. Epimaco Densing III, in a letter addressed to DILG RDs, city and municipal mayors, provincial directors, and chiefs of police, estimated the number of OFWs going home between 25 May to 27 May at an average of 8,000 per day.

Any form of transport – sea, air, or land – may be used to transport the returning OFWs.

LGUs are advised to accept the OFWs as long as “the required [documents] are shown by each OFWs (sic),” Densing said.

OFWs with incomplete documents may have to undergo quarantine or made to undergo RT-PCR tests.

The steps of facilitating transit are as follows:  OFWs will be fetched from their respective facilities/locations then be brought to the PITX or the NAIA Terminal II for them to board their respective transportation unit;

OFWs should present a copy of their quarantine certificate from the Bureau of Quarantine, or if they are included in the master list of the Philippine Coast Guard as among those who tested negative for COVID-19;

different agencies will set up one-stop-shops to facilitate the ease of return of OFWs.

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