MANILA, Philippines — Over 25,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in different quarantine facilities have been successfully transported to their respective hometowns, the Department of Labor and Employment reported on Monday.
The labor department accomplished the ‘hatid probinsiya’ for OFWs exactly one week after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the immediate release of some 25,000 COVID-19-cleared OFWs.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H Bello III said as of May 31, 2020, a total of 25,002 stranded OFWs have been released from quarantine facilities.
Of the said figure, 9,595 were transported by air; 7,900 traveled by land, and 385 returned by sea.
Meanwhile, 6,574 were fetched by their relatives from their temporary accommodation.
Those who have returned home includes around 8,000 seafarers who were stranded in 26 cruise ships in Manila Bay.
Around 200 of these seafarers, however, remain on board as they await their test results, and for safe manning purposes.
The DOLE, through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and in coordination with other government agencies, Philippine recruitment agencies (PRAs) and local manning agencies (LMAs), provided accommodation, food and transportation assistance to the stranded OFWs.