WITH the Christmas holidays only more than two months away, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has assured that it is ready for the expected influx of overseas Filipino workers amid health protocol constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said hotel accommodation for returning workers is still under manageable level.
Cacdac said that at present the number of OFWs being accommodated in government-sponsored hotels nationwide is from 12,000 to 13,000. Of the number, 9,859 are in the National Capital Region, billeted in 178 hotels.
He added that the red alert level is at around 15,000, so everything is still manageable.
The OWWA chief also noted that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the IATF’s One-Stop-Shop — including the Department of Transportation, OWWA, and the Department of Labor and Employment — have been working to ensure that many returning OFWs for the Christmas season will be assisted in their coming home.
“Aside from the the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the government has already established several international ports of entry, such as the ones in Laoag, Clark, Subic, Cebu, and Davao. OWWA is also is arranging local flights to transport OFWs to Metro Manila, and we are working with the DOTr and with the airlines,” he said.
Asked about OWWA’s health protocol guidelines on inbound OFWs, he reminded the workers of the guidelines under IATF Resolution 142 that was passed on Oct. 7 and took effect on the following day, Friday.
The resolution provides that “fully-vaccinated travelers from countries on the ‘green’ or ‘’yellow’’ lists will undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative COVD-19 swab test taken on the 5th day.”