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OFWs restless at quarantine centers, still waiting for tests after weeks

Several overseas Filipino workers have been staying at their designated quarantine facilities for months now as they wait for their swab testing schedule before they are given clearance to go home.

According to a 24 Oras report by Marisol Abdurahman on Thursday, some OFWs from Dubai have been stuck for weeks at a hotel in Pasay City despite having completed their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

They complained that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has been unresponsive to them.

“Hindi rin sila kasi organized. Nagtatanong kami kanina, ‘di ba, tumawag kami kanina kung anong balak nila tapos wala,” one OFW said.

“Sabi lang nila maghintay, maghintay, at nang maghintay. So hanggang kailan kami maghihintay? Hanggang katapusan?”

The OFWs stressed that they had already undergone a month-long quarantine in Dubai before departing for the Philippines.

Meanwhile, in another hotel in Pasay, several other OFWs are also waiting for clearance to go home.

Some of them have been waiting for nearly two months, including some senior citizens.

“Nag-appeal ako sa Davao [City], ayaw nila ako pakinggan. Parati lang nila ina-acknowledge… pero wala naman silang ginagawa,” said one OFW who has tried to contact city and barangay officials.

“Itong PCR swab test is a requirement as of last week… We had to wait until ‘yung Philippine Coast Guard could launch its mass testing,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac explained.

“Naka-linya rin lahat yan… we really just can’t say for sure kasi we don’t have control of the swab testing,” he added.

Some 16,000 to 18,000 OFWs are expected to undergo swab testing before they are given clearance.

Most of them are currently billeted in some 100 hotels across Metro Manila. —Julia Mari Ornedo/LDF, GMA News