MANILA - Over 75,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic have returned to their home provinces, the head of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said early Wednesday.
"'Yung sa ating mga overseas Filipinos na dumarating galing sa ibang bansa na wala ng trabaho, sa ngayon ay meron tayong naibalik sa mga probinsiya na 75,895. So wala na tayong backlog ngayon," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza said in a streamed public briefing.
He also revealed that the repatriation of some 5,000 Filipinos in Sabah, Malaysia is ongoing.
""Yung mga Filipinos sa Sabah, gustong ibalik ng Malaysia sa atin. Ang bilang po noon ay mahigit 5,000," Lorenzana said.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier said around 400,000 OFWs have been laid off abroad due to the pandemic.
To help displaced and returning OFWs, the government has provided them a one-time P10,000 cash assistance.
As of July 4, the agency said some 188,473 had received the cash aid, amounting to P1.927 billion.
DOLE is seeking an additional P2.5 billion to finance its cash assistance program. The agency received over 551,000 applications both from land-based and sea-based workers.