The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has reported that over 400,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic had been brought home by the government as of Saturday (January 23).
The labor department shared the latest figures from the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) showing that 8,273 OFWs have been transported to their respective provinces last week alone, from 7,895 in the preceding week.
400K Overseas Filipino Workers Sent Back Home; 80K More Still Waiting Repatriation
Based on a report by OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the total number of repatriates who have undergone quarantine and were cleared of COVID-19 stood at 410,211 as of Jan. 16, the Philippine News Agency reported.
“After their ordeal in their country of origin, our dear OFWs were all provided accommodation, food, transportation and cash assistance by the government. Now, they are safely home with their families,” Bello said.
In line with this, the labor department projected that approximately 60,000 to 80,000 more OFWs are estimated to be repatriated this year.
Those awaiting repatriation form part of the over 520,000 OFWs displaced by the pandemic that continues to plague economies around the globe.
Bello, citing POLO’s reports, renewed his call to OFWs to follow health and safety measures imposed in their host counties which continue to register new cases of COVID-19 among OFWs, and in the face of the new strain of the virus.
To this, Bello reminded all OFWs that there is no room for complacency. He pointed out that despite the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in your country of work, the virus remains an imminent threat to their health and safety. As of January 13, the whole of the Middle East region has the highest recorded cases of infection among OFWs at 7,844.
The region also has tallied the highest number of OFW deaths due to the virus at 3,697.
Meanwhile, countries in Europe and the Americas listed 3,078 cases with 265 deaths, while there were 1,239 reported cases of OFW infection in Asia and the Pacific.
Of this report, the highest recovery among OFWs is in Europe and the Americas with 2,372 cases, followed by Asia at 1,165 and the Middle East with only 619 reported cases.