Filipino migrant workers who spent more than a month in quarantine due to unprocessed coronavirus test results finally began heading home to their provinces on Monday.
According to a 24 Oras report by Raffy Tima, the repatriates felt like prisoners newly released from jail and were all smiles as they boarded buses that would take them home.
“Siyempre masaya na makakauwi, makakasama ‘yung pamilya,” one OFW said.
“Excited na po [ako]. Makikita ko na ‘yung anak ko. Siyempre po masaya dahil almost 35 days kaming nasa laot,” seaman Andrew Bataller added.
Most of the repatriates will be brought home to their provinces by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, while others were picked up by their relatives at the quarantine facility.
Buses have been departing from the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange as early as dawn.
The Philippine Coast Guard said the terminal would operate around the clock to facilitate the trips of OFWs.
“We have to decongest Metro Manila because more will be arriving in the next few weeks and few days,” said Commodore Allan Victor Dela Vega.
He also vowed a shorter waiting time for repatriates under quarantine.
“This will be obviously smoother. We already learned from past mistakes. One of the contributory is the changes in policy e,” Dela Vega said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier gave concerned agencies one week to send home some 24,000 repatriates who have been stuck in quarantine way past the mandatory 14-day period. — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News