Gov't problematic in handling returning OFWs; 42,000 more expected to arrive
National Task Force COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez has admitted that the influx of overseas Filipino workers is a ''huge problem'' for the government as it is running out of quarantine facilities.
In a televised meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night, Galvez said 42,000 more OFWs are expected to arrive this month and in June.
"So, right now, our problem is quite big. Mr. President, I would like to inform you that we have a huge problem with the returning OFW. Because right now, more than 27,000 are already here in Manila. And there are 42,000 more who will arrive this coming May and June," he said.
He said the hotels, which served as quarantine facilities, will be overwhelmed.
Galvez said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, overall head of NTF, directed the Department of Transportation, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Maritime Industry Authority to immediately send home all the OFWs who have been tested negative for coronavirus disease.
Galvez said out of the tested OFWs by the Philippine Red Cross, 22,432 have results and of these, 465 were found positive for COVID-19.
He said if the government failed to test the 465 OFWs, they could have infected other people, resulting to second wave of infections.
The NTF has limited the number of flights carrying repatriated OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to avoid further congestion at the quarantine facilities. Celerina Monte/DMS