When can these overseas Filipino workers finally come home and reunite with their families?
Former Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol appealed to the government to look into the plight of several OFWs “stuck” in quarantine hotels in Cebu City for more than a week.
Piñol’s nephew is among these OFWs pleading for help after their appeal to come home has been rejected. The OFWs, coming from the United Arab Emirates, are reportedly concerned about losing more days in quarantine especially they are only given three-week vacation by their employers abroad.
“Dozens of OFWs from Dubai who were granted a 3-week break are stuck in quarantine hotels in Cebu City for 10 days now. One of them is my nephew, Rej Piñol Servano, who sent me a desperate appeal for help today,” Piñol said on Facebook.
“Rej said that before Typhoon Odette made landfall, the OFWs asked the OWWA and Bureau of Quarantine that they be allowed to leave earlier. This was not granted,” he said.
Piñol appealed to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to help the OFWs stuck in quarantine hotels. “Tulongan nyo naman itong mga OFWs na stranded sa Cebu.Once a year lang makauwi ang mga ito,” he said.
The government has required fully vaccinated balikbayans from green and yellow countries to have negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure, undergo a three-day facility-based quarantine with testing on the 5th day. Regardless of a negative result, they are required to undergo home quarantine up to the 14th day from arrival.
Unvaccinated visitors must also test negative and undergo facility quarantine with a test done on the 7th day from arrival. They must also required to undergo home quarantine up to the 14th day from the date of arrival.
Piñol, former Mindanao Development Authority chair, said he is also undergoing quarantine for six days since his arrival from the United States. He was not complaining but found it unfair that his nephew and other OFWs have been staying in quarantine hotels for 10 days.
“For the information of everybody, naka quarantine din ako for six days starting today. Naka booster na ako and i had an RT-PCR test before leaving the US. I am not complaining. I abide with the protocols. Pero hindi na tama na aabot ng sampung araw ang mga OFWs sa cebu,” he said.