43,000 overseas Filipinos are coming home: Labor chief


Posted at May 20 2020 07:45 AM

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Some 43,000 more overseas Filipino workers are expected to come home between May and June as the coronavirus pandemic slashed jobs all over the world, the Department of Labor and Employment said Wednesday.

"Nawawalan na sila ng trabaho," DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello told DZMM. "Mabuti na lang, karamihan sa ating mga kababayan, bagama't nawalan sila ng trabaho doon, they decided to stay on site. Doon lang sila at umaasa pa rin silang makakuha ng trabaho."
(They are losing their jobs. Fortunately, most of our compatriots decided to stay abroad despite losing their jobs there. They are still hoping that they can work there.)

Around 27,000 OFWs were earlier repatriated and 16,000 of them are expected to complete a 14-day quarantine and swab test for the coronavirus this week, he said.

Many other OFWs are stranded abroad, like those in Kuwait which is under lockdown and prohibits flights, Bello said without providing an exact tally.

Bello said his agency would also help 72 workers who were supposed to go abroad and were stranded instead in Quezon City. Their recruitment agency should shoulder their hotel expenses and their placement fee should be refunded, he said.

The coronavirus pandemic could shave 20 to 30 percent off dollar remittances from OFWs as the contagion halts businesses worldwide, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said last month.

Cash remittances, or those coursed through banks and financial institutions, hit a record $30 billion (P1.5 trillion) in 2019, helping drive consumption and strengthening the peso against the dollar.

DZMM, May 20, 2020