390 OFWs back home from Laos, Norway

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said 390 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Laos and Norway who were affected by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic  arrived on Saturday.

They were composed of 125 land-based OFWs from Laos who flew in via Air Asia flight Z2 8293 and 265 sea-based workers from Norway who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport VIA Evelop Air EV 659.

Our kababayans had been eagerly waiting to return back home for months, the DFA said adding the OFWs are just days closer to reuniting with their families.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) One Stop Shop at the airport continues to ensure that our repatriated kababayans will arrive safe and sound to their loved ones waiting at home.

Upon arrival, they underwent RT-PCR COVID-19 testing, thorough documentation screening as well as briefing on current safety protocols prescribed by the IATF-EID.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development also made available psycho-social counselling to OFWs who may wish to seek such service.

They will be temporarily housed at Bureau of Quarantine-approved facilities for mandatory quarantine while they await the results of their RT-PCR test.

Through coordination with the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Tourism, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Justice-Bureau of Immigration, Manila International Airport Authority, Department of Transportation-Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police and members of the private sector, the DFA facilitates a safe and successful repatriation via a whole-of-government approach to ensure overseas Filipinos are out of harm's way.

The DFA remains true to its commitment to provide timely assistance to distressed overseas Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.