BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will shoulder all the expenses for hotel accommodations of repatriated residents of this city after lone district Cong. Greg Gasataya had a phone conference with Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac past midnight today.
“He assured me that OWWA will take care of the accommodations for returning OFWs in the city starting with the 28 repatriated ones who arrived the other day,” Gasataya told DNX.
Some of the 28 OFWs have earlier appealed to local officials to find them a more suitable quarantine facility other than the Lopez Jaena Elementary School here, that one OFW interviewed by DNX had likened to an evacuation center.
Gasataya said the OWWA will find hotels here in which the OFWs will be billeted and spend the 14-day quarantine required under health protocols.
He added he had already coordinated with Councilor Israel Salanga who heads the Action Team on Returning OFWs (ATRON) to check local hotels and canvass room rates so OWWA can choose which ones are suitable to serve as quarantine facilities.
Salanga, a first-termer, was chosen by Mayor Evelio Leonardia to head ATRON, which assisted the OFWs who are about to are about to return to the city.
Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III had earlier issued Department Order No. 211 that prescribes guidelines on the provision of hotel accommodation for distressed landbased and sea-based Filipino workers during the period of Enhanced Community Quarantine or the OWWA Project CARE.
Gasataya said he is happy that OWWA had agreed to assist the OFWs.
“I am just here on the sidelines, trying to help as much as I can to the efforts of our city led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and our inter-agency task force headed by Vice-Mayor El Cid Familiaran,” he added.
Click the video below to hear the reaction of one of the 28 OFWs who arrived Tuesday night in an interview with DNX Executive Editor Julius D. Mariveles.