ILOILO CITY, May 25 (PIA) - Returning Western Visayan Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are set to arrive in the region starting today, May 25 as part of the "mass transport" of repatriated OFWs ordered by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Today, more than 500 OFWs are arriving in the region at ports in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo. About 214 of them are from Negros Occidental and Bacolod while 379 are form Iloilo and other provinces in Panay and Guimaras.
The data were obtained from the Sub-Task Unit for OFW Repatriation of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force COVID-19 and Regional Task Force COVID-19. The figures may still vary depending on the actual passengers' manifest record.
Three sweeper flights are also set to land at the Iloilo International Airport carrying returning OFWs as part of the repatriation program, according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Department of the Interior and Local Government Region VI Director and RIATF chair Ariel O. Iglesia instructed their field officers to apprise the local government units in their respective areas about the mass repatriation of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Metro Manila from May 25 to 27.
In his memo, Iglesia also advised DILG Provincial and City Directors that arrangements have been made here to expedite and harmonize the transfer procedures for the arriving OFWs.
All of those (from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo) who arrive at the Iloilo airport will be temporarily trabsferred to Iloilo Sports Complex in La Paz district for processing and proper identification.
OWWA will provide buses for the OFWs up to their respective Provincial Capitols where they will be fetched by their respective LGUs, except for Iloilo province and city.
The returning OFWs have undergone standard and mandatory health protocols and travel arrangements prior to their return to the region.
The repatriation of OFWs was ordered expedited by President Duterte within this week to enable them to come home after getting stranded in Metor Mnaila due to delays in the release of their health test results and processing of certificates. (JBG/JSC/PIA6)