The government will limit the arrival of Filipino workers from overseas to 1,200 daily after reports of congestion in facilities in Metro Manila.
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said they wanted to control the entry of returning overseas Filipinos including seafarers as 42,000 more were expected to arrive.
“We don’t want what happened in the past month to happen again,” he said in Filipino during a meeting with President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday night, referring to thousands of OFWs who got stranded in Manila and failed to go to their hometowns.
Mr. Lorenzana said they would increase the limit to 1,500 or 2,000 and expedite their clearance once the capacity is increased, according to the taped meeting aired on Friday.
Returning OFWS will only now have to stay in Metro Manila for five days before being sent home, assuming they are coronavirus-free, the Defense chief said. He added that there were now enough coronavirus testing facilities.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on Tuesday said more than 300,000 OFWs had been displaced by the pandemic that has sickened more than 6.7 million and killed more than 390,000 worldwide. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas