Iloilo ready for influx of OFWs, stranded residents
MANILA, Philippines – The Iloilo provincial government said on Wednesday, May 27, that it has prepared for the influx of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other returning Ilonggos who had been stranded in other parts of the country due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
The Iloilo provincial government said in a press statement that Governor Arthur Defensor Jr met with the Iloilo disaster cluster on Tuesday, May 26, on the expected arrivals after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered government agencies to bring OFWs to their respective hometowns.
Defensor directed provincial tourism officials to augment the quarantine facilities set up in different municipalities.
Provincial Tourism Officer Gilbert Marin reported to the governor that his office identified 152 rooms in different hotels and resorts for use as quarantine facilities.
Under the system set up by the provincial government, returning OFWs have to register at the Iloilo Sports Complex first before they are brought to their respective quarantine centers.
Dr Maria Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon of the Provincial Health Office said that before the OFW repatriates are allowed to leave for Iloilo, they had already tested negative for the coronavirus and complied with the other health requirements set by the government’s coronavirus task force.
As a precautionary measure, the repatriates will have another real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test while on 14-day quarantine in their respective facilities. Quiñon said that even if they test negative, the OFWs would still have to complete the quarantine in the facilities.
The provincial government said that on Monday, May 25, a total of 396 OFWs arrived in Iloilo.
Ilonggos who had been stranded in Boracay and Palawan also returned home with the assistance of the Provincial Tourism Office. They also complied with the requirements of the province such as the health certificate and certificate of acceptance from their local government unit (LGU) before they were allowed to travel back to the province.
Unlike OFWs, the groups from Boracay and Palawan need not undergo the 14-day quarantine because since they all came from general community quarantine (GCQ) areas. They will still be monitored by their respective municipal health officers. – Rappler.com