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OWWA confirms poor sanitation in quarantine facility for repatriated OFWs

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration on Sunday confirmed an incident where some repatriated overseas Filipino workers had to stay in a quarantine facility with poor sanitation.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac said Deputy Administrator Faustino Sabarez III visited the facility in question.

“Itong hotel na-book ng manning agency, the presumption is very high. And in fairness, first time itong nangyari…Sana huwag lalahatin,” Cacdac said.

“We’re seeking the understanding also of the public that it [poor accommodation] can happen. But it has been corrected,” he added.

Cacdac explained that the manning agency is accountable for their returning recruits. He said if the agency is not capable, then OWWA will shoulder the accommodation for a quarantine facility.

According to Cacdac, OWWA has already resolved the issue.

Earlier, Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Department of Health to ensure that the quarantine facilities designated for returning overseas Filipino workers are in good condition.

Hontiveros cited a report indicating that some OFWs are complaining of the "filthy and unhygienic" situation in a quarantine hotel in Novaliches, Quezon City.

"It is unacceptable that our OFWs in this time of crisis are forced to suffer these unhealthy, unhygienic and undignified conditions, and government should act swiftly and decisively to solve this problem," she said.

But Cacdac said that around 13,000 seafarers have returned home. Around 10,000 of them were lodging in hotels.

According him, OWWA helped around 5,000 OFWs for their accommodation in Metro Manila and around 3,500 for their transportation amid the enhanced community quarantine. —Joviland Rita/LBG, GMA News