The Philippines is expecting some 300,000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) throughout the whole year due to the Covid-19 crisis.
As many countries ease the travel restrictions and as the government continues with its repatriation efforts for the displaced OFWs, many don’t know what to expect upon arrival in the airports in the Philippines.
Upon arrival in NAIA, all passengers will be queueing for thermal screened, however, pregnant women, senior citizens, and persons with medical conditions will be prioritized. Meanwhile, business class passengers are always first in line for the whole process in NAIA.
The passengers will now be proceeding in the holding room while maintaining social distancing. Drinking water will be provided and going to the restrooms is allowed but their passports must be surrendered to officers.
While inside the waiting room, OFWs will be required to fill out the arrival, health declaration forms, case investigation, and infectious disease form. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will brief the newly arrived Filipinos of the process of swab testing, mandatory quarantine, and when to be discharged. A form will be given to applicants after the swab test and must be shown to the immigration officers.
Once in the immigration area, OFWs must submit his passport and the infectious disease form.
Baggage can now be claimed after submitting the form. Meals will now be provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Non-OFWs are not included here. Before claiming the meal, OFWs must fill-out a form that will be distributed by OWWA.
After getting the meal, the OFWs will then wait for the transportation service that will take them to designated hotels. Before getting inside the hotels, OFWs will be individually disinfected in a full-body disinfection channel.
OWWA will pay for the hotel stay and swab test of all returning OFWs. Going outside the hotel is strictly prohibited. Room-sharing is not also permitted except for married couples and/or couples.
Grocery deliveries will only be allowed if coordinated with the OWWA representative. Food ration is also provided three times a day.
The swab test result will be available in three to five days but can be extended to seven days. Meanwhile, the results will be made available on PCG or Philippine Red Cross’ website or Facebook pages.
If an OFW test negative for Covid-19, a certificate of clearance will be issued by the Bureau of Quarantine. Meanwhile, if an OFW tests positive for the virus, the name won’t appear on the agencies’ website and Facebook pages and an ambulance will pick-up the OFW from the hotel and will be taken to a treatment facility.
If the results are already released for OFWs who tested negative, they are to stay further in the quarantine facilities until the certificates are issued.