Over 400,000 overseas Filipinos have returned to the Philippines

File Photo from the DFA-OUMWA

The Department of Labor and Employment reported on Saturday, January 16 that more than 400,000 overseas Filipino workers impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic have been repatriated by the Philippines government.

Latest figures from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration indicated that 8,273 OFWs were transported to their respective provinces just last week alone—up from 7,895 in the preceding week.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that as of January 16, total repatriates who have undergone quarantine and were cleared of Covid stood at 410,211.

“After their ordeal in their country of origin, our dear OFWs were all provided accommodation, food, transportation and cash assistance by the government. Now, they are safely home with their families,” Bello said.

Based on reports from the various Philippine Overseas Labor Offices of DOLE, approximately 60,000 to 80,000 more OFWs are projected to be repatriated for this year.

Those awaiting repatriation form part of the over 520,000 OFWs displaced by the COVID pandemic that continues to plague economies around the globe.

Citing separate POLO reports, Bello renewed his directive to OFWs to continue to follow health and safety measures imposed in their host countries which continue to register new cases of COVID-19 among OFWs especially with the onset of the new strain of the virus.

“There is no room for complacency. We cannot let our guard down. Despite the availability of Covid vaccines in your country of work, the virus remains an imminent threat to your health and safety,” Bello said.

As of January 13, the Middle East region continues to record the highest number of cases of infection among OFWs at 7,844. The region also recorded the highest number of deaths among OFWs which currently stands at 3,697.

Qatar reported the single biggest number of cases at 3,873, with 14 new Covid cases among OFWs in the last 24 hours. Nineteen OFW casualties were recorded.

Countries in Europe and the Americas listed 3,078 cases with 265 deaths, while there were 1,239 reported cases of OFW infection in Asia and the Pacific.

Highest recovery among OFWs is in Europe and the Americas with 2,372 cases, followed by Asia at 1,165 and Middle East with only 619 reported cases.

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