16,000 OFWs to come home in June, fewer than expected: DOLE

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2020 03:17 PM

Stranded OFWs rest at the waiting area of the NAIA Terminal 2 on May 29, 2020. Workers from different countries wishing to go home to their respective provinces wait to be tested for them to be able to board planes as part of the safety measures against COVID-19. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Some 16,000 overseas Filipino workers displaced by the coronavirus pandemic will come home this month, less than half of the original estimate, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday.

The original estimate of 42,000 will not be met because most OFWs failed to meet documentary requirements for their repatriation, Bello said.

Bello said he sought the help of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Tourism for the temporary accommodation and transportation of repatriates.

The government requires returning OFWs to subject themselves to polymerase chain reaction-based (PCR) testing for COVID-19, and to undergo a mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine.

The pandemic has left some 341,161 OFWs displaced from work, Bello said.

Of the said figure more than 200,000 don't want to return to the Philippines, especially those who work in the US and Europe, he said.