TACLOBAN CITY, May 24 (PIA) - -The repatriation of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) has started. As of May 23, some 76 have arrived in Eastern Visayas, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Region 8 (OWWA RWO 8) told the Philippine Information Agency.
Some 43 OFWs stranded in Cebu have returned to Eastern Visayas via Hilongos Port in Leyte, as of May 20, 2020, DILG OIC-Regional Direcvtor Darwin Bibar disclosed at the PIA Panindugan Virtual Kapihan among PIA, local media and government agencies, hosted by Regional Director Olive Tiu of PIA-8 on Friday, May 22.
The 43 OFWs came home in two batches, Director Bibar said.
The first batch arrived on May 10 and was composed of 19 OFWs with four from the province of Leyte, eight from Southern Leyte, six from Samar and one from Eastern Samar.
The second batch who arrived on May 19 was composed of 24 OFWs with nine from Leyte, nine from Southern Leyte, one from Biliran, one from Eastern Samar and four from Tacloban City.
Meanwhile, OWWA Region 8 told the PIA that some 33 OFW repatriates from Manila arrived in Region 8 early morning of Saturday, May 23, 2020.
This makes the total number of OFW repatriates to Eastern Visayas to 76 as of May 23.
The repatriates came home via Cebu and then through Hilongos Port in Leyte.
Of the 33 OFWs, 21 are from Leyte, three from Eastern Samar, seven from Southern Leyte, one from Biliran and one from Samar.
The successful repatriation of these OFWs was made possible thru the collaborative efforts of OWWA RWO 7, OWWA RWO 8 and partner agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the respective Local Government Units where these OFWs are residing.
The return of the OFWs was fast-tracked by reducing the documentary requirements needed for their return to their respective homes. The OFWs still had to undergo a swab test and the quarantine, though.
MARINA and PCG provided safe passage to the OFWs through vessels. The two agencies ensured that the vessels were sanitized and safe for travel.
OWWA RWO 8 staff were at the port to facilitate the arrival of the OFWs and to ensure proper endorsement to their LGUs.
Upon arrival at the port, the OFWs were provided with food and hygiene kits. Transportation from port to the OFWs' residence was facilitated by each LGUs where they will undergo another 14-day quarantine.
Prior to the repatriation of these OFWs, they underwent the mandatory 14-day quarantine required by the Department of Health, got a negative RT-PCR swab test result, secured clearance/approval from their respective LCEs and Travel Authority from the Philippine National Police from Region 7. (opt/PIA-8)