Press Release
June 16, 2020

Revilla seeks Senate review on government's repatriation efforts for OFWs

Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. has called for a joint-panel Senate investigation on the government's repatriation of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Revilla said the inquiry is aimed at addressing the loopholes in the repatriation process of concerned government agencies given the anticipated influx of displaced OFWs, especially those stranded in different parts of the world since the onset of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

"There is a pressing need to accelerate and expedite the repatriation process and maximize all available resources and systems to bring home all the stranded OFWs abroad," Revilla said in filing Senate Resolution 448.

"The repatriation process must be systematic and holistic that it will bring the OFWs right in front of the doorsteps of their homes without undue delay and unnecessary difficulties," the senator added.

Revilla's resolution seeks to direct the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, joint with the Foreign Relations Committee.

Hopefully, Revilla said, the results of the inquiry will help in the effective and expeditious implementation government's repatriation efforts.

"The anguish of waiting, the torment of being away from their families, the financial and employment anxieties, the uncertainty of events and of the future, among many other considerations, affect their health not only physically but also mentally and emotionally," the senator said.

Recently, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted in news reports saying that only 1,000 to 2,000 repatriated OFWs will be accepted in airports and the maximum stay in quarantine facilities in Manila could be five days or even less.

Revilla said the effectiveness and actual implementation of this new strategy, to avoid overcrowding in quarantine centers in Metro Manila, is yet to be seen.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) said 44,724 OFWs are expected to return to the country from May to June this year.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) further reports that a total of 341,161 OFWs lost their jobs due to the pandemic and around 200,000 are expected to be repatriated in June until August this year.

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