MANILA- Over 100 Filipinos spent the night outside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after rumors that there were domestic flights that could ferry them back to their provinces.
Genelyn Rosalim, who is applying for work in Kuwait, said she went to the airport after hearing that people were already being flown to Mindanao.
Many of the individuals were flown to Manila for free by recruitment agencies earlier this year and were abandoned following the lockdown, Hans Cacdac, administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said.
"Mayroon silang mga application sa recruitment agency. Pinalipad sila from Mindanao to Manila ng kanilang recruitment agency at mayroon silang mga application na naudlot," Cacdac said.
(They have pending applications from their recruitment agencies and they were flown to Manila from Mindanao)
"Hindi po nagpatuloy itong kanilang balak na maging OFW so hindi po sila OFW at na-stranded sila sa Maynila. They never left the country," he added.
(They weren't able to secure work as OFWs so they were stranded in Manila)
Cacdac said the OWWA would seek the help of the Department of Transportation, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for the transportation of the stranded individuals back to their home provinces.
The OWWA will also check if the individuals can be assisted under the "Balik Probinsya" program, Cacdac added.
Cacdac said the OWWA would go after the recruitment agencies that supposedly abandoned the Filipino applicants in Metro Manila.
"Itong mga recruitment agency nila na binitawan sila ay pananagutin natin sa korte at sa POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) dahil sila ay may responsibilidad din sa kanilang mga aplikante," he said.
(We will go after their recruitment agencies because they have a responsibility to their applicants)