Over 24,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in quarantine facilities in Metro Manila have returned to their respective hometowns, Malacañang said on Monday.
Government data showed that 24,028 OFWs were transported from May 25 to 31.
Of this number, 9,143 were transported by air and 378 via sea travel.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier gave government agencies one week to process the immediate release of some 24,000 OFWs that tested negative for COVID-19 or have undergone the necessary 14-day quarantine, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) formed task groups to speed up the movement of OFWs from different quarantine facilities to their respective homes, as well as the processing of outbound workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered the designation of additional personnel from its regional and attached agencies to strengthen the manpower requirement of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
This is to ensure the smooth land and air transport and monitoring of OFWs from their quarantine facilities to their respective destinations.
Labor Undersecretary Claro Arellano said over the weekend that OWWA had so far spent over P700 million for the repatriation, transport, accommodation and food of the more than 30,000 returning OFWs./Stacy Ang