Duterte tells LGUs to accept OFWs who are cleared from coronavirus infection
President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the local government units to allow the entry of repatriated overseas Filipino workers who have been cleared of coronavirus disease infection.
Duterte, in a televised message late Monday night, raised concern that some LGUs were barring OFWs in going to their homes even if they have completed the 14-day quarantine.
"The problem now is these returning Filipinos who are not accepted by the local governments. Now it will boil down to the power of the President to promulgate rules and regulations to protect public health which is actually an exercise of the police power of the state as against the bill of rights. Because some workers coming from the outside are not welcomed. Simply they are not being accepted by the local governments. So this difficult, this is a constitutional issue," he said.
Duterte said he understands the concern of the LGUs that they "want the contagion stopped right there, there at the doorstep."
But he told the local chief executives, "the national government will insist that you accept the OFWs."
"We will have a problem if you resist because then as a worker of government, it falls upon my shoulder to see to it that everything is done fair," he said.
So far, there are about 25,000 repatriated OFWs, said National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr.
He assured that all repatriated OFWs would go home immediately after undergoing COVID-19 testing and would be found negative.
"We organized a mega swabbing area so that all the OFWs will be swabbed immediately so that they could go home," he said.
"After they were tested negative, maybe after three days or four days, they can go home with the certification of the Bureau of Quarantine that they are COVID-free," Galvez added.
There were reports that some LGUs still denied the entry of OFWs in their locality despite completing the 14-day quarantine in Metro Manila upon their arrival in the country. Celerina Monte/DMS