Chan: Returning Lapu-Lapu OFWs should stay in city’s hotels

By: Futch Anthony Inso - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | January 21,2021 - 07:10 PM

Acting Regional Director Mae Codilla of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Central Visayas (OWWA-7) says she and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Ahong Chan have discussed the issue of hotel accommodations of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Lapu-Lapu City during a meeting on January 21. | Futch Anthony Inso #CDNDigital

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — The Lapu-Lapu City government wants its returning overseas Filipino worker (OFW) constituents to be accommodated in hotels within the city.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan met with  actingRegional Director Mae Codilla of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)-7  this morning, January 21, to tackle the issue about the returning OFWs who would arrive at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Codilla admitted that currently, some Oponganon OFWs, were being quarantined for 14-days in hotels located outside Lapu-Lapu, such as Cebu City and Mandaue City.

The city wants them to be isolated in hotels within Lapu-Lapu to minimize the hassle in monitoring them, especially in transporting them for RT-PCR testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Read: Lapu-Lapu CESU head: All arriving int’t travellers will be quarantined, swabbed

But Codilla said that they were only abiding by the protocol, where hotels that accommodate returning OFWs should be accredited to the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Health (DOH).

She said that currently, there had been only a minimal number of hotels in Lapu-Lapu City that were already converted into quarantine facilities that was accredited by the DOT and DOH.

“We are limited right now. We are just basing the list from DOT nga (that) those hotels who are only allowed to cater to ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos). When we talk about ROFs, that already includes the OFWs,” Codilla said.

Read: Lapu gov’t monitoring returning OFWs  

Codilla, however, said that the city was coordinating with hotel and resort management in converting their facilities into isolation centers, to cater to more OFWs especially those coming from the 35 countries with confirmed cases of the United Kingdom (UK) variant coronavirus.

OWWA will shoulder the expenses for the accommodation of the OFWs within its quarantine period.

“Kami we would really appreciate nga dunay mga hotel dinhi sa Lapu-Lapu City because we understand, just like us in OWWA, it would minimize the use of resources like transpo. It was mentioned nga kung naka-stay lang sila sa usa ka hotel sa Lapu-Lapu City, ang pagpick-up sa mga OFW dali ra sab,” she added.

(We would appreciate if there is a hotel here in Lapu-Lapu City because we understand, just like us in OWWA, it would minimize the use of resources like transpo. It was mentioned that if they are staying in a Lapu-Lapu Cty hotel, then it will be easier to pick them up.)

Based on their records, since the start of the pandemic, a total of 34,042 ROFs have already arrived in Central Visayas under sweeper flights, while 32,386 have arrived through international flights.

Out of this number, 16,223 ROFs were accommodated by the agency through hotel accommodations for their 14-day quarantine./dbs

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