Following the directive given by President Rodrigo Duterte to send home overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that have finished their mandatory quarantine and have negative test results for COVID-19, around 7,500 OFWs, including 2,775 Magsaysay seafarers, have already been transported to various provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao since May 25.
With the assistance of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Diseases (IATF), a total of 1,117 MPs were ferried to various regions in Luzon outside of Metro Manila, while 1,256 were flown or shipped to the Visayas and Mindanao. Meanwhile, 402 were sent directly to their residences within Metro Manila.
After weeks of being stuck on cruise ships and in quarantine facilities around Metro Manila, our MPs are more than happy to have been given the green light to finally go home and be reunited with their loved ones. They also shared their gratitude to Magsaysay for not leaving them since the day they arrived in Manila.
Leonito, one of the seafarers that have been recently sent home, texted us to express his appreciation for ensuring their safety and for all the assistance that we have provided, since they began their quarantine period and up to now that they are being brought back to their hometowns. “Una ako nagpapasalamat sa Diyos na lumikha sa lahat at sa aming Agency Magsayay, na walang sawa sa ibigay ng pagkain sa amin araw araw. Salamat Diyos dinalangin namin ang inyong kaligtasan."
When the seafarers arrive in their respective Provinces, Magsaysay branch personnel will be there to assist them since local government units have also implemented protocols for arriving OFWs, as part of their preventive measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
To date, we are still in continuous coordination with concerned government agencies to ensure that more seafarers will be sent back to their Provinces in the coming days. We are very grateful to the Philippine government for addressing the concerns of OFWs, which include our very own crew members.