January 29, 2023

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration continues to assist returning overseas workers in going back home to their respective provinces in the Cordillera.
As of July 29, a total of 2,019 returning OFWs were assisted including 1,611 under the Uwian Na program of OWWA in partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard, the OWWA-CAR reported during the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council-Regional Task Force Covid-19 joint coordination meeting recently.
Two hundred forty-two of the returning OFWs are from Abra, 76 from Apayao, 884 from Baguio City, 477 from Benguet, 140 from Ifugao, 125 from Kalinga, and 75 from Mountain Province.
Unfortunately, 23 of the returning OFWs are reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 – four in Baguio, three in Benguet, three in Abra, two in Apayao, three in Ifugao, seven in Kalinga, and one in Mountain Province.
The Uwian Na program for returning OFWs follows four stages. Upon arrival at the airport, OFWs will be swabbed and will be given quarantine center assignment. At the quarantine facilities which are usually hotels, they wait for their swab test results. If the swab test result is negative, the OFWs will be picked up from their hotels and bring them to the PITZ to the buses that would bring them to their respective regions.
In their home regions or LGUs, they have to follow the requirements that may include swab testing and 14-day quarantine at identified isolation facilities.
Aside from their hotels, the government also shoulders their transportation to their regions, according to an OWWA post.
The OWWA-CAR also reported 3,445 applications were submitted for the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong Program of the Department of Labor and Employment that provides a one-time P10,000 financial assistance to Covid-affected OFWs. A total of 2,295 applications are already approved, 77 disapproved, 244 are DSWD pre-qualified beneficiaries, 186 are pending applications due to needed documents, and 643 are on process.
From March 5 to April 15, OWWA-CAR also provided P10,000 financial assistance to 454 OFWs who were affected by the travel ban to China, Macau, Taiwan, and Hongkong due to Covid-19. – Carlito C. Dar