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4,000 OFWs fly home on mercy flights

About 4,000 overseas Filipino workers stranded in Manila were able to return to their provinces via the mercy flights organized by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

According to Chino Gaston’s 24 Oras report, thousands of OFWs lined up to board their flights back home at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on Monday.

Some of the OFWs who are bound to go home have been stranded in quarantine facilities in Manila for over two months while waiting for their COVID-19 test results.

A total of 21 mercy flights were organized by OWWA.

OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the agency paid P1 million per flight.

Meanwhile, the agency also spent P2.5 million on mercy voyages for OFWs going home in Visayas and Mindanao.

Cacdac said the mercy flights were in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to bring home the stranded OFWs within seven days.

Previously, OWWA was able to send home  about 7,500 OFWs.

“The directive is really to bring, reunite OFW families and walang halaga sa pera ‘yon sa totoo lang,” Cacdac said.

He also promised the agency will improve the process of testing the remaining stranded OFWs.

About 45,000 OFWs are expected to return to the country until the end of June. —Ma. Angelica Garcia/LDF, GMA News