MANILA – Government-run laboratories have been tapped to process the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specimen of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) swabbed upon arrival in the country, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Monday said.
“In (the) light of current discussions between PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) and Philippine Red Cross about payment of PCR testing of returning OFWs, the IATF-NTF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases-National Task Force) has tapped government laboratories to help in the processing of PCR specimen of OFWs swabbed upon arrival at NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport),” OWWA chief Hans Leo Cacdac said in a Twitter post.
This came as the Philippine Red Cross ceased swab tests that are chargeable to PhilHealth until it settles its debt worth over PHP930 million.
Meanwhile, Cacdac urged Filipino workers to register at quarantinecertificate.com (care of the Bureau of Quarantine) for purposes of finding out the results of their PCR tests.
For arriving OFWs on or after Oct. 15, PCR test results will be released through this system.
“We humbly seek the patience and understanding of our dear OFWs, as we continue to care for them while awaiting PCR test results in their hotel quarantine facilities,” he said.
At the same time, he acknowledged the laboratories for taking the responsibility to process the test of the workers from abroad.
“We are thankful to national and local government laboratories for their volunteer efforts to process PCR swab specimen of returning OFWs. Such government laboratories undertake to process swabbed specimen within normal processing times,” he added.
The OFWs are undergoing swab testing as a mandatory health protocol before they are allowed to go back to their home provinces.
Based on the government’s latest data, a total of 248,469 returning Filipinos have been reunited with their families in different parts of the country. (PNA)