Close coordination works well for OFWs’ homecoming

ILOILO CITY, May 11 (PIA) – The trip of 41 returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) home to Western Visayas on May 9 took place seamlessly minus hitches and gaps, according to the spokesperson of the Regional Task Force COVID-19 here.

Regional Task Force COVID-19 spokesperson lawyer Roy Villa said team work or close coordination among the government agencies mainly tasked to facilitate the activity namely the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration  (OWWA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), other members of the task force, and local government units made it possible.

As a result of this close coordination, they were also able to make needed preparations especially in terms of quarantine facilities and to cater to the needs of the returning OFWs. 

This was a marked improvement from the previous effort to take in returning OFWs when there were coordination gaps and inadequate preparations.

“It was a team effort and it showed what it can do to bring success to any endeavor that needs to be accomplished,” said Villa.

A seafarer among the group of 41 said their voyage home was facilitated well by concerned agencies in Metro Manila until they boarded the ship. He acknowledged the effort on this by OWWA, MARINA, IATF, local government units in the region, and for residents like him of this city, that of Lone District Congresswoman Julienne Baronda.

Of the 41 returning OFWs, 25 are from the province, 10 from the city, 5 from Guimaras province, and 1 from Negros Occidental, according to the Office of Civil Defense-6.

The task force chaired by Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Director Jose Roberto Nuñez, who is also the head  of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), Nuñez led in coordinating the preparations and procedures that would be followed for the arrival of the OFWs.

More batches of repatriated OFWs are expected to return home, according to the task force. This is part of the Malasakit Voyage for returning OFWs.

Based on a resolution passed by the task force, for OFWs to return to the region, they must comply with mandatory health and certification protocols with COVID-19 negative RT-PCR Test results and completion of the 14-day mandatory quarantine at the immediate place of exit, which in their case is Manila. 

Villa said they will strive to further improve on the process and the coordination aspect. We are doing this as part of efforts to succeed in the fight against COVID-19, he said.  (JBG/JSC/PIA6 Photo by PCG Iloilo Station)

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