Returning OFWs won't have transport, accommodation aid in Alert Level 1 areas

·Senior Editor
·2 min read
Passengers, mostly Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) queue at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 1, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Passengers, mostly Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) queue at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 1, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

From June 1, transportation and accommodation assistance for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be suspended in Alert Level 1 areas.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said this was in light of pandemic restrictions being lifted in Metro Manila and other areas, which has allowed services such as public transport to operate at full capacity.

“In view of this, OWWA-chartered buses at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and OWWA-sweeper flights at the NAIA Terminal II shall cease operations on June 1, 2022, Wednesday,” said the OWWA in a Facebook post on Tuesday (May 24).

It noted that exceptions will only be made for distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) as certified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO), and OFWs returning to the country through government-initiated mass repatriation flights or OFWs provided airfare

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated OFWs who are required to undergo quarantine will also be provided accommodation assistance. However, beginning June, after the country’s pandemic task force eased restrictions in Metro Manila and other areas, returning overseas Filipino workers will no longer be given transportation and accommodation assistance.

“Their onward transportation to their respective home provinces shall be at their own expense,” the advisory read.

According to the May 23 report of the Task Group on Management of Returning Overseas Filipinos, over 3.219 million Filipinos abroad have gone home because of the pandemic. More than 2.111 million of these are OFWs.

The OWWA has assisted 802,538 returning OFWs to go back to their home regions, while 329,067 have availed of the OFW Kalinga program.

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