Like garbage. This was how an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) described the treatment she and other repatriated workers got at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as they await their flight home.
According to a report by Ian Cruz' report on "24 Oras," the OFWs did not receive food and water ration during their overnight wait. They were also stationed in a hot area near the depot of broken items at the Terminal 2.
"Para kaming basura dito na tinapon lang, oo. Wala kaming kain mula pa kagabi, kahapon pa kami dito, hanggang ngayon," Arlyn Tonquerido said.
"Yan ang bayani na tinatawag nila? Hindi naman bayani 'yun. Kasi mamatay kami sa gutom, hindi kami mamatay sa COVID," she added.
The OFWs are on their way home after weeks in various quarantine centers in Metro Manila. Almost all of them have to endure the long wait for the COVID-19 test results before getting the clearance to return to their home provinces.
The OFWs said they are willing to be on standby until their flight becomes available, but expressed their wish not to be overlooked or neglected.
"Parang pinabayaan lang, eh, kasi wala namang OWWA na naka-ano sa amin. Kung ano talaga gagawin namin, wala," Gretchen Lizada-Taganile said.
"Kami pa 'yung gumawa ng idea para magkaroon kami ng flight sa ano. Tumawag kami sa LGU tapos nag-lista kami ng pangalan. Kasi 'yung sabi ng ano, kung aabot kami sa quota, bibigyan nila kami ng flight," Ronie Pales, meanwhile, said.
Jell Macabutas, another repatriate, added: "Ang panawagan ko naman po sa OWWA, kung puwede po sana, i-accomodate po ng maayos 'yung OFWs para sa susunod hindi na po mangyayari itong insidente na 'to kasi dumadami at dumadami po kami." —Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News