According to President Rodrigo Duterte, the government must ensure that returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have a “comfortable” return to the nation.
President Duterte highlighted the abroad Filipinos’ contribution to the country’s economic prosperity in his recorded public address.
“Make their reentry dito sa (to the) Philippines as comfortable as possible,” President Duterte said. “And magagastos tayo simply because this is the time that we can — magbayad tayo sa kanila. We can repay them for their sweat working and sharing their income with our government and ultimately with the people.”
“Make their reentry here in the Philippines as comfortable as possible. And we will spend money simply because it is time we can repay them for their hard work and sharing their income with our government and ultimately with the people.”
“We are sacrificing time, effort, lahat (everything) because we have to inform the people of what is going on,” President Duterte highlighted.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, about 545,745 OFWs have been repatriated, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is requesting a Php9.8 billion extra budget to cover displaced migrant workers’ food, transportation, and lodging costs.
Hans Leo Cacdac, the OWWA Administrator, said the agency is waiting for the Department of Budget and Management to issue the Php5.2 billion initial supplemental budget.
According to him, they deal with at least 2,000 OFWs per day, or up to 60,000 OFWs a month.