MANILA, Philippines – A total of 1,143 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) repatriated from the Middle East have arrived in the country, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
In a statement on Tuesday, DOLE said the repatriates arrived in Manila on Monday in three batches via chartered flights from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.
The first batch was comprised of 345 OFWs from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia who have long completed their contracts with the Saudi Manpower Solutions Company but could not be sent home immediately when the Saudi government imposed travel restrictions due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The second batch consisting 410 OFWs were flown home from Lebanon while the third batch was composed of 400 Filipinos who were mostly staying at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Dubai.
DOLE said the group’s repatriation was facilitated through the coordination among POLO, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of Foreign Affairs and the employers.
The Philippine Coast Guard also assisted the workers in the conduct of swab tests while a team from OWWA brought them to quarantine facilities where they will await their test results.
DOLE said OWWA will provide transport to coronavirus-free OFWs to their final destination, in coordination with the local government units.
To organize their travel back home and for a systematic tracing of overseas Filipino workers in quarantine facilities, OWWA has requested the assisted OFWs to download the ‘Uwian Na’ app from Google store or to register at uwianna.owwa.gov.ph.
“Our assisted OFWs may also check OWWA’s official page specially created for quarantine operations. In that page, we share the lists of negative results from the PCG. You can also find hotline numbers of different agencies like Konsulta MD if you have medical concern, or Hopeline Philippines if you need counselling,” OWWA chief Hans Cacdac said.
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