OWWA did not coordinate arrival of repatriated OFWs in Cebu — Gwen
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has cried foul over the alleged failure of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to coordinate with the province about the mercy voyage carrying over 200 repatriated seafarers that will arrive in Cebu at dawn on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Garcia said she was taken aback with the development which she allegedly only learned through the Facebook messenger.
A total of 328 repatriated overseas Filipino workers(OFWs) are now on board the 2GO passenger ship, St. Michael Archangel, that departed from Manila at around 2 a.m. this Monday, April 27.
Of the number, 220 Cebuanos and 47 Boholanos will be disembarking in Pier 6 of Cebu City. The Boholanos will then be transported to their province from Pier 1.
The repatriated OFWs were stranded in Manila for several weeks now due to the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in most parts of the country.
Since the middle of March 2020, Cebu has prohibited the entry of all persons coming from other provinces as a measure against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Mao na dako nako nga concern karon kay nakalitan ko kay diha ra nako nakit-an, ug di pa gyud ni formal, nga nabasahan sa messenger kagahapon nga naa kuno 232 kabuok moabot,” Garcia was quoted in the Provincial Information Office’s website, Sugbo News.
(This is one of my biggest concern because I was surprised that I only learned about it not through the formal process, but through the messenger yesterday — that 232 OFWs would arrive here in Cebu.)
The PIO, in the a news release, said the governor had talked with a representative from OWWA and “castigated” them for the lapses in coordination.
The PIO quoted Garcia as saying that “OWWA should have coordinated with local officials first before deciding to repatriate them because local officials might not welcome their presence in their localities.”
“Kay napraning na intawon ning mga tawo [og] nasigpaniguro na ni sila’g proteher sa ilang mga lugar nga mangahadlok kun makakita og naa laing mga tawo moabot aning ilang mga lugar,” Garcia said.
(Because people have been so zealous in making sure to protect their areas from the COVID-19 and they are worried and scared if they can see other people arriving in their areas.)
To recall, Cebu province has even closed its borders against Cebu City since March 30 because of the rising number of coronavirus cases there.
The governor has called for an emergency meeting with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday afternoon to set protocols for the arrival of the OFWs./dbs
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