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OWWA-10 brings in 27K NorMin OFWs in 2020

By : Jigger Jerusalem Mindanao Today/05:21:39pm 04/08/2021


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Health personnel welcome returning OFWs at the Laguindingan Airport in this file photo taken last year. (Jigger J. Jerusalem)


THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-10 (OWWA-10) has assisted about thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have returned to their respective hometowns amid the threat of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

OWWA-10 brings in 27K NorMin OFWs in 2020



By Jigger J. Jerusalem



THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-10 (OWWA-10) has assisted about thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have returned to their respective hometowns amid the threat of the coronavirus pandemic last year.



The returning OFWs arrived at the city’s seaport in Barangay Macabalan and at the Laguindingan Airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental.



The OFWs who arrived at the Macabalan port traveled under the “Malasakit Voyage” of the national government, starting April 25, 2020.



A month later, sweeper flights chartered by OWWA started bringing in OFWs from Manila to the Laguindingan Airport.



OWWA-10 said the mass repatriation was implemented weeks after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has declare the entire country under the national public health emergency as Covid-19 cases began to shoot up last year.



As of Dec. 31, 2020, OWWA-10 has assisted a total of 26,825 returning OFWs who were repatriated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.



Of this number, 753 arrived by boat, while 26,072 came in by air, OWWA-10 said.



Most of the returning OFWs were from Northern Mindanao, with 19,586; region 9, 4,520; region 11, 147; region 12, 188; Caraga,1,363; and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 1,021.



Aside from airport and seaport assistance, OWWA-10 also provided temporary shelters to 11,303 OFWs who were awaiting pick-up by their respective local governments.



Among them were OFWs requiring special medical attention that were fetched by medical escorts and ambulance from the local government units.



OWWA-10 also provided free transportation to 11,252 OFWs to ensure their unhampered return to their home provinces. Free full meals were also provided to 24,597 returning OFWs upon their arrival.



Also, the agency has facilitated the repatriation of human remains of 30 OFWs who died overseas within the period. Ten of them succumbed to Covid-19, while 20 died from other causes.



Petrona Bergado, OWWA-10 regional director, said they are still facilitating the arrival of OFWs this year.