Allow OFWs cleared of coronavirus to go home, local executives told

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2020 02:39 PM

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) wearing protective masks stand outside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, February 18, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA -- Local executives should allow Overseas Filipino workers to come home after they completed a 14-day mandatory quarantine, the Philippines' coronavirus task force said Monday in response to reports of discrimination.

The Department of Health will not allow an OFW to return to his or her house without clearance. Their sacrifices should also be considered, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.

"Gusto lang nila umuwi sa kanilang tahanan. Let them go home," he said.

(They just want to go home. Let them go home.)

Addressing reports of discrimination, Nograles said: "Hindi po ito nakakatulong (this is not helpful), and the government will act on cases of discrimination wherever and whenever these happen."

Migrant workers are exempted from the Philippines' COVID-19 travel ban. They are, however, required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

As of Sunday, the Philippines has a total of 3,246 cases of COVID-19 which includes 152 deaths and 64 recoveries.