More than 254,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been sent home amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chair Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday night.
“As of today, we have repatriated more than 254,000 OFWs and they have been sent back to their home provinces,” Lorenzana said in Filipino during a meeting with President Duterte in Malacañang.
Filipino migrant workers have been returning to the Philippines since mid-March after coronavirus infections worldwide rapidly rose, forcing governments to impose strict movement restrictions that severely affected business operations.
As for Filipinos in Sabah, Lorenzana said repatriation in the area hit a snag as Zamboanga, Jolo, and Tawi-Tawi stopped accepting repatriates due to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in their areas.
“As for overseas Filipinos in Sabah, the number of those who have been repatriated remains at 1,968,” Lorenzana said in Filipino.
“More than three thousand are still waiting, they are affected by a lockdown there imposed due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Zamboanga, Jolo, and Tawi-Tawi also do not want to accept repatriates for the meantime because their cases are also increasing,” he added.