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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) to provide transportation to workers and students stranded in Luzon due to the extended lockdown brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Rodriguez, the national government should organize sweeper flights or sea transport for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in Metro Manila and Clark in Pampanga who are from Mindanao and the Visayas.”

“Most of them arrived on March 13 to 15. They have been stranded for more than 40 days. They have all been tested for Covid 19 and found negative. I am in touch with more than 40 OFWs from Cagayan de Oro currently sheltered in Clark and more than 60 OFWs from CDO stranded in Metro Manila,” he said.

He noted that there are 17 students from Cagayan de Oro and more than 60 from other parts of Mindanao who are stuck in University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna.

He said 16 more students from his hometown are stranded in UP Visayas in Iloilo. The lawmaker stressed that these stranded students “are already running low on personal supplies.”

“I hope the IATF and the OWWA have an evacuation plan to bring these returning OFWs and students to their respective provinces and cities in Mindanao and the Visayas,” he said.

He said the stranded workers and students should also be given financial assistance.

“They are willing to go on a 14-day quarantine upon arrival to their respective communities. I urge the local government units to accept them, undertake their quarantine accommodations and monitor them,” he said.

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