OFWS - updates

Rappler's latest stories on OFWS


Jobless OFWs in Dubai in quandary about returning home

Jul 05, 2020 - 9:00 AM

Some have no money for plane tickets, others worry about what awaits them in the Philippines

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? These Filipino workers lost their jobs in the UAE but remain undecided on whether to head back home to the Philippines

PH misses July 4 target to bring home deceased OFWs from Saudi Arabia

Jul 03, 2020 - 10:07 PM

Without specifying a new date, the Department of Labor and Employment says they will bring home the bodies 'early next week' or the week of July 5

MISSED TARGET. The Philippine government misses its self-imposed deadline to bring home deceased overseas Filipino workers. Photo by DFA-OUMWA

Over 88,000 OFWs in UAE seek aid, but funds only for 17,000

Jun 21, 2020 - 11:54 PM

Data from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai show that Filipino workers either lost their jobs, are on a no-work-no-pay arrangement, or have had their salaries cut

Displaced overseas Filipino workers in Dubai queueing in for free hot meals. (Photo grab from Feby Cachero Baguisa Dela Peña’s Facebook with permission. She started giving free food a month ago and is now preparing hot meals from sponsors.

WATCH: Stranded workers occupy NAIAX road waiting for flights

Jun 11, 2020 - 11:30 PM

These workers hope the government and the airline companies take pity on their plight and assist them in going home to their families in the provinces.

STRANDED. Filipino workers stay under the bridge at NAIAX road in hopes airline companies will pity them and assist them so they can go home to their provinces. Photo by Charles Salazar/Rappler.

Filipinos in UAE band together to weather coronavirus pandemic

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:45 AM

In the United Arab Emirates, Filipinos think of ways to help out fellow Filipinos affected by the coronavirus crisis

FREE FOOD. Feby Dela Peña and her team. Contributed photo

Vigan records first coronavirus case

Jun 10, 2020 - 2:19 PM

Vigan's first COVID-19 patient is a 30-year-old OFW from Taiwan who returned to the country on April 15, and was quarantined at a designated hotel in Pasay City until May 25

CITY HALL. A decontamination tent has been placed at the entrance of the Vigan City Hall as a precaution to the spread of the coronavirus disease. The city recorded its first case on June 9, 2020. Photo from the Vigan City PH Facebook page

PH files complaint vs employer of Saudi OFW who died without medical attention

Jun 10, 2020 - 1:51 PM

'If what we heard and saw in the video are true, that constitutes employer neglect. Gusto natin panagutin ang employer niya sa nangyari sa kanya,' says Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Adnan Alonto

156 stranded OFWs, residents finally coming home to Lanao del Sur

Jun 06, 2020 - 9:28 PM

The stranded individuals and overseas Filipino workers will be quarantined in Marawi City

COMING HOME. Returning Lanao del Sur residents boarded one of the buses that wil take them home to Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur. Photo from Lanao del Sur Provincial Information Office

Overseas Filipinos with coronavirus reach 5,369

Jun 06, 2020 - 7:14 PM

Middle East and Africa have the highest number of Filipinos infected with the virus, but the most deaths are in the Americas

OFWS. Stranded passengers mostly OFWs queque as they wait to buy ticket to go back to their respective provinces at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City on June 4, 2020. Photo by Czar Dancel/Rappler

OFW recalls close brush with COVID-19 in shared UAE flat

Jun 06, 2020 - 5:10 PM

Arnaldo Tumaliuan shares a flat with 8 other people in Dubai. One of them tests positive for the coronavirus.

OFW. Arnaldo Tumalian has been based in the United Arab Emirates since April 17, 2007.  Photo from the Facebook page of Arnaldo  Tumaliuan

OFWs transiting Metro Manila to be sent home within 5 days

Jun 05, 2020 - 1:44 PM

(UPDATED) National Task Force COVID-19 overall head Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the government doesn't want a 'repeat of the previous months' when thousands were stuck in Metro Manila

COMING HOME. Around 100 Overseas Filipino Workers who were repatriated due to Coronavirus pandemic board a ship at the Northport Terminal in Manila on May 27, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Cebu airport builds coronavirus testing lab in terminal for returning OFWs

Jun 02, 2020 - 7:57 AM

The lab will be manned by MCIA staff who are trained by the Department of Health, and will supplement the existing labs in the area

REOPENED. The Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) opens as Cebu is placed under general community quarantine. Photo from MCIA's Facebook page

Nearly 100,000 OFWs stranded worldwide due to virus lockdowns

May 31, 2020 - 8:05 PM

Most of the stranded Filipino workers are in the Middle East, says the Department of Labor and Employment on Sunday, May 31

OFWs. In this file photo, Filipinos who availed general amnesty granted by the Kuwaiti government are pictured  at the Kuwait International Airport Terminal 4, on April 3, 2020 on their way home to Manila amid the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP

Filipinos abroad with coronavirus up by 2,315, bringing total to 5,184

May 31, 2020 - 7:20 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says the spike is 'due to some late reports' from the Middle East 'where many host governments implement strict data privacy and confidentiality rules'

Around 100 Overseas Filipino Workers who were repatriated due to Coronavirus pandemic board a ship at the Northport Terminal in Manila on May 27, 2020, to go home to their respective provinces in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro after their overdue mandatory quarantine. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

OFWs struggle through prolonged quarantine in gov’t 'VIP treatment'

May 31, 2020 - 4:54 PM

Caught in a maze of tests and government requirements, returning overseas Filipino workers stuck in quarantine are forced to hustle just to get home

Duterte admin giving returning OFWs 'VIP treatment' – Roque

May 30, 2020 - 3:07 PM

Malacañang responds to a labor group that condemned the government for its 'garbage-like treatment' of migrant Filipino workers

Returning OFWs who finished thier prolonged mandatory quarantine queue outside the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange on May 28, 2020, to return to their respective provinces through the Balik Probinsya program. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

'Recognition for frontliners': Pinay nurse in UAE inspired by conversation with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince

May 30, 2020 - 11:02 AM

Jessa Dawn Ubag says she considered her video conference with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a 'recognition of the Filipino community in the UAE, along with all frontliners'

PINAY NURSE. Jessa Dawn Ubag is among the lucky few who had a chance to speak with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, through a virtual chat. Photo courtesy of the Emirates News Agency

Cebu, rest of Central Visayas gear up for more OFW arrivals

May 29, 2020 - 8:19 PM

The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas says thousands of overseas Filipino workers are projected to arrive in Central Visayas in the coming week

OFW ARRIVAL. Overseas Filipino workers arrive at the Port of Cebu. Photo from the Philippine Coast Guard Central Visayas

Fearing coronavirus, OFWs in Algeria ask PH gov’t to bring them home

May 27, 2020 - 4:52 PM

At least 152 Filipinos working in construction sites remain stranded in the African country

DISINFECTION. Municipal workers dressed in protective gear disinfect a street in the Bab el-Oued district of Algeria's capital Algiers on April 9, 2020. Photo by Ryad Kramdi/AFP

Stuck and undocumented: A transiting OFW's tough choice

May 26, 2020 - 8:21 PM

Does he return to a country in disarray, or does he stay in another where he has no rights? Whatever choice he makes, the future is uncertain.

Negros Occidental, Bacolod officials ‘surprised’ by mass arrival of OFWs

May 26, 2020 - 1:00 PM

In a single day, 468 overseas Filipino workers arrive in Negros Occidental and Bacolod via two sweeper flights and a sea vessel

THEIR HOME. Some of the OFWs who arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport from Manila Monday night, May 25. Photo courtesy of Capitol PIO

DFA probing death of Filipino in Lebanon POLO shelter

May 25, 2020 - 5:51 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is also considering 'underlying factors' as the domestic worker entered the shelter a day before her supposed suicide

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

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

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

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

Linn Ordidor, caregiver: Sorry, not sorry

May 01, 2020 - 10:00 AM

She got into trouble with Philippine authorities for stating her political opinions, and would have been deported if Taiwan didn’t vouch for her. Still, the spirited OFW says she’d do it all over again for love of country.

LINN ORDIDOR. Filipina caregiver Linn Ordidor has been working in Taiwan for almost 3 years. Photo from Linn Ordidor

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.

Rappler Talk: Taiwan OFW Linn Ordidor on free speech and dodging deportation

Apr 30, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Caregiver Linn Ordidor made headlines when the Philippine government pushed to have her deported from Taiwan for having criticized President Rodrigo Duterte. She tells Rappler why she thinks being outspoken is worth the risk.

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

DOLE asks Taiwan to deport OFW with Facebook posts criticizing Duterte

Apr 25, 2020 - 8:02 PM

The Philippine government wants Taiwan to deport a Filipina caregiver for her ‘nasty and malevolent’ posts about the President

TAIWAN. The Taiwan National Museum in Taipei. File photo by Frank Cimatu/Rappler

MovePH Webinar: Coronavirus impact on OFW welfare and employment

Apr 22, 2020 - 5:24 PM

Join us on Tuesday, April 28, at 3 pm

No last goodbye for Gulf migrant workers lost to pandemic

Apr 22, 2020 - 5:21 PM

OFWs are among the migrants who die alone in the Middle East because of the coronavirus

Employees transport the body of a COVID-19 victim to be cremated at the New Sonapur Hindu crematorium in the Gulf Emirate of Dubai on April 19, 2020. The body of the Indian migrant who died from coronavirus far from home was kept inside the ambulance in front of the crematorium in case a friend came by for a last goodbye. But nearly an hour later no one had appeared, and the workers in protective suits had to carry out their grim task. In silence, the four men carefully moved the body, wrapped in a white plastic bag, to a furnace where it was reduced to ashes that were placed in a silver box. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

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