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OWWA told to provide free lodging to OFWs during quarantine



MANILA – The Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA) has been directed to provide returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) free temporary accommodation in hotels amid the implementation of Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved Resolution 14, which authorizes OWWA to issue the certifications “it may deem appropriate to the concerned OFWs.”

“Ibig sabihin po nito, ang mga distressed OFWs ay pwede na pong ma-accommodate sa hotels or similar establishments (It means that distressed OFWs can now be accommodated in hotels or similar establishments),” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a televised speech aired on state-run PTV-4.

The entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine until April 12 to arrest the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

All inbound Filipino citizens, including their foreign spouses and children, returning to the Philippines, are still allowed to travel to the Philippines, but are subjected to strict quarantine protocols.

Nograles noted that in the IATF-EID’s updated resolution, issuance of visa, and visa-free entry privileges to all foreign nationals are suspended immediately.

“Foreign spouses and children of Filipinos are exempted from the above suspension,” he said.

The Philippines has recorded 380 positive cases of Covid-19, as of Sunday afternoon.

Nograles appealed for public’s understanding, assuring them that the government is exhausting all efforts to contain Covid-19.

“We appeal for patience and calm as we and the whole world face an unprecedented crisis – one that can be overcome if all of us focus at the singular task at hand: saving each other’s lives,” he said. (PNA)

Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA