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Palace respects LGUs’ decision for repatriated OFWs to undergo another round of quarantine

Malacañang said Tuesday it respects the decision of local government units to require repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to undergo another round of quarantine even if they have tested negative for COVID-19.

“Nasa desisyon na po ‘yan ng LGUs... pero mga LGUs, negative po sila sa PCR testing so baka naman masayang ang quarantine pero we respect your prerogatives,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.

He suggested that the quarantine areas should be in barangays where the OFWs can be close to their families.

Roque’s statement came after the League of Provinces of the Philippines on Tuesday insisted on having repatriated OFWs undergo quarantine and COVID-19 test upon their arrival in their home provinces.

LPP president and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco appealed for understanding, saying the measure was meant to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in their communities.

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte asked local officials to accept returning OFWs or else they could face charges.

He said only the national government can impose travel restrictions because it is the only entity that can declare an emergency based on national interest.

The President earlier ordered concerned agencies to bring the 24,000 OFWs stranded in Manila to their home provinces within the week.

As of Monday, a total of 11,848 OFWs have returned to their hometowns based on government data. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News