April 14, 2024

The Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration-Cordillera has been assisting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)/returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) on their repatriation since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

OWWA-CAR Director Luzviminda Tumaliuan said from January to October this year, OWWA assisted 7,484 OFWs/ROFs from different countries. There were 2,509 from Abra; 1,178 from Kalinga; 664 from Mountain Province; 1,256 from Ifugao; 3,503 from Benguet; and 5,148 from Baguio City.

The OWWA also assisted 497 non-OFWs such as tourist visa holders, permanent residents, and student visa holders.

Sweeper buses are used to ferry the repatriates to their destination with identified drop-off points which serve as the venue to turn over OFWs. From March to December 2020, a total of 7,518 OFWs/ROFs were assisted through OWWA’s sweeper bus services.

For Apayao, OWWA Region 2 assisted in ferrying OFWs until Tuguegarao City, according to Tumaliuan.

Drop-off points for eastern part of Mountain Province and Ifugao is in Cordon, Isabela. Provincial drop-off points are in Tangadan, San Quintin for Abra; Lamut in Ifugao, and Talaca in Kalinga.

Those bound for Baguio and Benguet are brought directly to Teachers’ Camp and Wangal, La Trinidad, respectively. 

Tumaliuan acknowledged the city government as one of the first to offer a drop-off point which also serves as triage and temporary quarantine facility for OFWs before they are turned over to their respective local government units.

OWWA also hired nurses to help in quarantine facilities in Benguet and Abra. The office also helped in the repatriation of the remains of OFW Alexander Carpio who died in Malaysia last Aug. 31 due to Covid-19. – Susan C. Aro