MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases urged local government units (LGUs) to allow ships to dock so that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) can disembark and go back to their families amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a remote briefing on Sunday, April 12, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles cited paragraph (f) in IATF Resolution No. 18, which ensures the unhampered transit of OFWs “who have been issued certificates of completion of 14-day quarantine, or those who may be required to undergo mandatory 14-day home quarantine.”
Nograles, spokesperson of the IATF, then said that all LGUs “are enjoined to allow the docking of maritime vessels in their ports, as well as to allow the disembarkation and transit of the aforementioned OFWs to their ultimate destination in the country.”
He added that the OFWs’ certificates of completion would show that they have finished their quarantine.
“Libu-libong milya ang kanilang tinahak para makauwi. Ang daming protocol po na sinusundan para po makabalik sila sa bansa, kaya pauwiin ‘nyo na po sila. Hindi po sila banta sa kalusugan ng inyong mga bayan,” said Nograles.
(They have traveled thousands of miles to go home. They have gone through many protocols so they can return to the country, so please allow them to go home. They are not a threat to the health and safety of your towns.)
As of Saturday, April 11, coronavirus cases in the Philippines have reached 4,428, among them 247 deaths and 157 recoveries. There are also 651 Filipinos overseas who have tested positive for the virus, with 84 deaths. – Rappler.com