News Release

LGUs must take in returning OFWs, says President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 4, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appealed to local chief executives to let arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) return to their home provinces after they underwent the required 14-day quarantine and declared coronavirus-free.

President Duterte was responding to reports that some local government units (LGUs) refuse to take in returning OFWs for fear that they might be carrying coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“I’d like to address myself to the local executives, it is your duty to help and protect your constituents. I have no quarrel na you want the contagion stopped right there, there at the doorstep. Huwag ka na lang pumasok dito because you contaminate the whole of the family in the house,” the President said in a televised public address Monday night.

“But you know Filipinos are citizens of this country. And whether we like it or not they have this constitutional right to travel — and to travel abroad and to come home after working there.”

He vowed to assist the OFWs upon their arrival in the country and their eventual return to their home towns.

The President insisted that once they are cleared by the medical authorities and given certification, the OFWs can return home.

President Duterte warned the LGUs refusing to accept OFWs saying, “makinig kayong local executives — the national government will insist that you accept the OFWs.”

“Magkakaroon ho tayo ng problema if you resist because then as a worker of government, it falls upon my shoulders to see to it that everything is done fair.”

Also, National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. reported that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is taking care of OFWs returning from abroad.

The OFWs are undergoing quarantine in different hotels through the arrangements made by OWWA and manning companies.

The task force also organized mega swabbing areas for all the OFWs so that they could be tested and sent home, Galvez said. PND