Overseas Filipino Workers - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Overseas Filipino Workers


Duterte orders OFWs stuck in Metro Manila to be brought home this week

May 25, 2020 - 1:13 PM

Some 24,000 overseas Filipino workers remain stranded in the capital region due to severe delays in the release to rest results and certificates

BACK HOME. A quarantine team from DOH assist repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Manila on April 2, 2020. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Filipina domestic worker commits suicide in Lebanon – embassy

May 25, 2020 - 8:39 AM

Her death comes days after a rights group complained about the shelter she was in

BEIRUT. A picture taken on January 25, 2020, shows Lebanese soldiers standing guard beneath a giant national flag in the capital Beirut with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP

Plight of stranded OFWs: Gov't still processing 8,000 certificates

May 23, 2020 - 1:54 PM

The government task force is working to ensure that OFWs are released at most 5 days after going through quarantine, says Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

A quarantine team from DOH assist repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Malate. Manila on April 2, 2020, for the start of their 14-day quarantine. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

462 returning OFWs to arrive in Cebu on May 22

May 22, 2020 - 5:49 PM

The OFWs return to Cebu from Manila after undergoing isolation and virus tests. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in Cebu’s jails now exceed 600 mark.

REPATRIATED. OFWs return to Cebu via ferry in April. File photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

WATCH: OFWs in prolonged quarantine because of delayed COVID-19 test results

May 21, 2020 - 9:56 PM

‘Emotionally tortured na po kami dito sa kaiisip kung kailan kami makakauwi sa aming pamilya,’ says a seafarer who’s been in quarantine since April 25

STRANDED, ANXIOUS. Marlo Albayalde reads a message he and his fellow seafarers prepared, appealing to the government to release their coronavirus test results. Screencap of video from Albayalde

Motorcycle-riding OFW in Pangasinan killed by wayward delivery truck

May 20, 2020 - 8:40 PM

A ten-wheeler truck crashes and then drags Christian Tolentino to his death

DREAMS CRUSHED. OFW Christian Tolentino dies after a 10-wheeler truck crashes into him while he was on his motorcycle. Photo by Andres Galvan

Gov't facing 'problem' with thousands of returning OFWs – Galvez

May 20, 2020 - 12:30 PM

The arrival of 42,000 more overseas Filipino workers may 'overwhelm' quarantine facilities, says the chief implementer of government policies on the coronavirus pandemic

BACK HOME. A quarantine team from DOH assists repatriated OFWs into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Manila. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Virus deaths among Filipinos in Dubai, neighboring emirates reach 43

May 19, 2020 - 8:38 AM

Among the Filipino victims are 3 nurses, two engineers, a community volunteer, and a high school official

Going into agriculture? DA has P2.5B in loans for MSMEs, returning OFWs

May 18, 2020 - 7:35 PM

The Department of Agriculture says the loans are zero interest, with technical assistance from the government

Planting Rice - Jaen, Nueva Ecija. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Coast Guard: Repatriated OFWs with coronavirus fled quarantine facilities

May 17, 2020 - 8:41 PM

(2nd UPDATE) Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo says some repatriated overseas Filipino workers were able to escape before their test results were released. One was found and taken into custody on Sunday, May 17.

Another Filipina nurse dies of coronavirus in UAE

May 15, 2020 - 11:48 AM

A Filipino mechanic known for his dedicated volunteer work also dies after contracting COVID-19 in Dubai

BACK TO WORK. Workers dressed in protective clothing walk past jewelers' shops at the Dubai Gold Souk in the United Arab Emirates on May 13, 2020, as markets reopen amid an easing of coronavirus restrictions. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

[OPINION] An OFW's letter to President Duterte on the deployment ban

May 12, 2020 - 9:00 AM

'Military enlistment is not best done at the brink of a war, and neither is the massive employment of nurses during a pandemic'

[OPINION] OFWs and immigrants as milking cows

May 11, 2020 - 2:37 PM

'The disabled Philippine economy largely depends upon OFW and immigrant remittances.... Thus, there’s no reason to treat these 'modern-day heroes' with insensitivity and overtaxation.

Families of OFWs affected by coronavirus qualified for DSWD subsidy

May 10, 2020 - 11:10 AM

DSWD reiterates families of OFWs with no other source of income since January 2020 can avail of the emergency subsidy

QUARANTINE. A quarantine team from DOH assists repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Malate. Manila on April 2, 2020, for the start of their 14-day quarantine. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Coronavirus death toll among Pinoys in UAE rises to 27

May 09, 2020 - 3:52 PM

(UPDATED) A total of 23 Filipinos died of the coronavirus in Dubai alone

AT HOME IN DUBAI. A man wearing a face mask gazes at the Dubai skyline as the city was placed on lockdown on April 4, 2020. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

43 more OFWs arrive in Cebu, go straight to hotel quarantine

May 09, 2020 - 8:35 AM

In April, a first batch of 200 OFWs came home to Cebu after testing negative for COVID-19 in Manila. A second test showed 17 of them positive.

MACTAN AIRPORT. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal implements strict precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus. Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

Provinces take precautions as returning OFWs test positive for coronavirus

May 07, 2020 - 4:30 PM

4 repatriated seafarers from Negros Occidental and one from Aklan are found to be infected after their home provinces got them tested, a precaution many LGUs are taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus

HOME. 2GO ships are tapped to bring overseas Filipino workers home to their provinces. Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

[OPINION] No to the new Philhealth premium for OFWs

May 06, 2020 - 7:35 AM

'When they were drafting the law, did they even bother to ask OFWs around the world if they agreed to this obligation?'

Duterte tells local officials: Accept OFWs returning to hometowns

May 05, 2020 - 9:00 PM

‘Magkakaroon ho tayo ng problema if you resist because then as a worker of government, it falls upon my shoulders to see to it that everything is done fair,’ says President Rodrigo Duterte

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE. President Rodrigo Duterte updates the nation on the government's efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease on May 4, 2020. Malacañang photo

[ANALYSIS] The inhumanity of PhilHealth’s new fees on overseas Filipinos

May 05, 2020 - 1:28 PM

Although PhilHealth already put on hold the collection of the new premium rate – at least over the course of the pandemic – it must also revoke some of the unconscionable rules it had put in place

[EDITORIAL] Kapag tinatarget ng gobyerno ang isang OFW

May 04, 2020 - 12:00 PM

Saan kumukuha ng kapal ng apog ang mga taga-POLO upang isiping isusuko na lang ng Taiwan si Linn Ordidor dahil hiniling nila ito?

After OFW rate hike draws ire, PhilHealth suspends collections

May 04, 2020 - 11:02 AM

(UPDATED) The state insurer says overseas Filipinos and self-employed members can give their contributions until the end of 2020

300,000 sign online petition opposing increase in OFW PhilHealth contributions

May 03, 2020 - 6:20 PM

(UPDATED) Filipino migrant groups also urge the government to enforce a moratorium on all state collections from OFWs during the coronavirus pandemic and remove punitive penalties

Rappler Talk: Ambassador Joseph Yap on Singapore OFWs hit by pandemic

May 01, 2020 - 11:48 AM

Rappler talks to Philippine Ambassador Joseph Yap about the plight of Filipinos in Singapore as the city-state battles the coronavirus

Among first Filipino nurses in his UAE hospital, Marlon Jimenea dies of COVID-19

May 01, 2020 - 12:00 AM

His wife, healthcare assistant Merry Janet, says Marlon didn’t show signs of breaking down, so they both took his condition lightly. He died in the ICU, where he worked.

FAMILY. Marlon Jimenea with wife, Merry Janet and daughter, Marianne Jane.

DOLE: 90,000 OFWs displaced worldwide due to coronavirus lockdowns

Apr 28, 2020 - 7:00 AM

However, some 233,000 OFWs have applied for the one-time $200 cash aid program of the Philippine government

DISPLACED. A quarantine team from DOH assist repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Malate. Manila on April 2, 2020, for the start of their 14-day quarantine. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

DOLE needs additional P9.4B cash aid to cover all workers affected by crisis

Apr 27, 2020 - 9:56 PM

The needs of private sector workers and OFWs requesting for government cash aid exceed the coronavirus response budget, the Philippine labor department says

WORKER AID. A quarantine team from DOH assist repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Malate. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

The overseas Filipino frontliners braving the coronavirus to serve OFWs

Apr 17, 2020 - 2:19 PM

While we’re at home, these frontliners continuously work to support not just OFWs but also their families back home

UAE extends validity of resident, visit visas to December 31, 2020

Apr 15, 2020 - 10:41 AM

The modified policy is intended to 'support residents and visitors and lessen the repercussions of the coronavirus'

DUBAI AIRPORT. Passengers queue at the check-in counter in a terminal of Dubai International Airport in the gulf emirate on April 6, 2020, as Emirates airline resumed a limited number of outbound passenger flights after its coronavirus-enforced stoppage. Karim Sahib/AFP

Coronavirus pandemic forces over 12,000 Filipino workers to return to PH

Apr 12, 2020 - 11:10 PM

(UPDATED) The bulk of repatriated Filipinos come from cruise ships which have been stranded due to travel restrictions and port closures worldwide

HOMECOMING. Filipinos from cruise ships continue to return home amid the coronavirus outbreak that has halted travel worldwide. Photo from the Department of Foreign Affairs

IATF to local governments: Allow ships to dock so OFWs can return home

Apr 12, 2020 - 3:20 PM

The Inter-Agency Task Force says certificates of completion would show that overseas Filipino workers have finished their quarantine

REPATRIATION. A Department of Health (DOH) quarantine team assist repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Malate, Manila on April 2, 2020, for the start of their 14-day quarantine. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Bayanihan in Dubai: Filipinos help OFWs in need amid pandemic

Apr 11, 2020 - 8:00 PM

Some Filipinos in Dubai have been aiding OFWs who suddenly lost their jobs because of the closure of businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic

LOCKDOWN. A man wearing a face mask gazes at the Dubai skyline as the city was placed on lockdown. On April 4, 2020, Dubai announced a two-week lockdown during which it will carry out tests in densely populated areas. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

GUIDELINES: OFWs eligible for DOLE's coronavirus assistance

Apr 09, 2020 - 11:54 PM

Here are the Department of Labor and Employment's guidelines for its cash assistance program for OFWs affected by the coronavirus outbreak

HELP FOR OFWs. A quarantine team from DOH assist repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Malate. Manila on April 2, 2020, for the start of their 14-day quarantine. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Number of Filipinos abroad positive for coronavirus climbs to 245

Mar 27, 2020 - 6:53 PM

The latest numbers from the Department of Foreign Affairs show 42 more cases of Filipinos with the coronavirus disease abroad, a majority of them in the Middle East

PARIS SCENE. A woman wearing a face mask looks through the windows of the La Chapelle metro station as she waits on the platform on March 27, 2020, in Paris, on the eleventh day of a strict nationwide confinement seeking to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease. Photo by Joel Saget/AFP

Life on pause: OFWs strive to keep healthy during unpaid time off

Mar 27, 2020 - 4:20 PM

Some overseas Filipino workers in coronavirus-affected countries deal not only with the fear of getting sick, but also with days of ‘no work, no pay’ that may last indefinitely

Task force pushes for P1.5-B financial aid to OFWs, workers hit by lockdown

Mar 25, 2020 - 10:45 PM

Filipino workers unable to get to their jobs abroad could receive P10,000, while employees of local companies affected by the coronavirus lockdown may get P5,000 from the government

RUSHING OUT. Passengers crowd the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City on March 13, 2020, following President Duterte's announcement of a community quarantine on March 15 to prevent to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

[OPINION] A few words of hope from an OFW amid the coronavirus pandemic

Mar 16, 2020 - 2:37 PM

'If you have OFW friends and family who are having a hard time understanding the situation, please do check on them by sending a message or calling'

OFWs can return to mainland China, except Hubei province

Mar 12, 2020 - 9:34 PM

(UPDATED) The Filipino workers will be required to sign a declaration 'signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved' upon their return to China

OUTBREAK SCARE. A large crowd waits outside a medical store in Bambang, Sta. Cruz, Manila to buy face masks on January 31, 2020. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

PH mission in UAE ‘ready to help’ Filipino visa runners amid coronavirus crisis

Mar 12, 2020 - 9:57 AM

To avoid deportation, visit visa holders need to do 'visa runs,' where they exit the UAE to have their visas renewed or changed to employment status

BIKE. A man wears a protective mask as a means of protection against the spread of the coronivirus as he rides his bicycle in Dubai. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

House OKs bill creating Department of Filipinos Overseas and Foreign Employment

Mar 11, 2020 - 5:50 PM

But Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman says the measure will encourage and promote the 'export of Filipino manpower'

OFW WELFARE. Filipino domestic helpers line up to send money at a remittance center in the central district of Hong kong on November 30, 2008. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Duterte wants death penalty for OFW Villavende's killers

Mar 10, 2020 - 8:20 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte says his 'heart bleeds' for overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East

DEATH PENALTY. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Malacañang Palace on March 9, 2020. Malacañang photo

OFWs appeal to PH gov’t: Lift travel ban on ‘safe areas’ in China

Mar 06, 2020 - 6:23 PM

Overseas Filipino workers fear losing jobs under a prolonged ban

IMPACT ON JOBS. People wear face masks for protection from the Covid-19 virus on March 6, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Bello: 'No alarming unemployment rate' for OFWs amid coronavirus outbreak

Mar 04, 2020 - 7:53 PM

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says reports of Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong who lost their jobs are 'isolated' cases

NOT ALARMED. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III at a Senate hearing on the government's preparedness measures in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus on February 4, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

[OPINION] The paradox of Japan

Mar 03, 2020 - 1:57 PM

While the upcoming summer Olympics is a big door Japan is opening to the world, it doesn’t do as much for the entry of foreign labor onto its shores

At least P84 million given to OFWs hit by virus travel ban – OWWA

Mar 02, 2020 - 3:35 PM

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration says assistance was given to over 8,000 workers who had been unable to return to their jobs in China, Hong Kong, and Macau

BACK TO WORK. Passengers continue to arrive at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Pasay City on February 3, 2020. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

OFWs as 'culinary ambassadors' of Filipino cuisine in UAE

Feb 28, 2020 - 5:44 PM

Gulfood 2020 promotes homegrown Filipino food and products to the Dubai crowd

IN PHOTOS: COVID-19 quarantine facility for Filipino repatriates in New Clark City

Feb 25, 2020 - 8:08 PM

The Athletes' Village in Capas, Tarlac once used for the 2019 SEA Games now serves as the national quarantine facility for the novel coronavirus

QUARANTINE CENTER. The Athletes Village at the New Clark City is the national quarantine facility for COVID-19. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Coronavirus to have 'minimal effect' on OFW remittances in 2020

Feb 24, 2020 - 4:40 PM

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles says mainland China accounts for only 0.1% of total remittances from overseas Filipino workers

'MINIMAL EFFECT.' Personal remittances from Filipinos working in China account for only 0.1% of total OFW remittances. File photo by Pat Nabong/Rappler

OFW remittances hit record high of $33.5 billion in 2019

Feb 17, 2020 - 7:30 PM

Filipinos based abroad send more cash and prop up the Philippine economy in 2019, but the novel coronavirus may affect their jobs and trigger a domino effect in 2020

Gov’t to give cash aid to OFWs affected by China travel ban

Feb 03, 2020 - 6:04 PM

The government will give P10,000 to each overseas Filipino worker stranded in the country due to the temporary travel ban on mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau

FLIGHT BAN. Passengers not affected by the flight ban continue to arrive at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Pasay City on February 3, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler