Nearly 100,000 OFWs stranded abroad, says DOLE

OFWs wait at the PITX during the Hatid-Probinsya operations of the OWWA, DOTr, and Philippine Coast Guard on May 26. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that nearly 100,000 OFWs remain stranded in various countries worldwide as of Friday, May 29. (Photo Courtesy: OWWA)

(Eagle News) – About 100,000 overseas Filipino workers are currently stranded in various countries worldwide, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“Citing reports from the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in 40 foreign posts, the DOLE command center in Manila recorded a total of 98,615 stranded workers as of Friday, May 29”, the DOLE said in a statement on May 31.

Of these, 83,483 are in the Middle East while 12,050 are in Europe and American region, and 3,082 in nearby Asian countries.

The stranded OFWs include those affected by lockdowns in their host countries, distressed workers seeking to be repatriated, and those with expired contracts but cannot return to the Philippines due to the absence of commercial flights.

“Of the total stranded OFWs, about 19,631 have unfinished contracts or distressed needing repatriation in the coming weeks, 11,505 of whom are in the Middle East while close to 6,500 are in Europe and the Americas”, the DOLE said.

At least 36,625 OFWs have been repatriated to the Philippines since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

— 24,000 OFWs in quarantine centers sent home —

The DOLE also announced that more than 24,000 OFWs in various quarantine centers nationwide are expected to be transported to their homes by Sunday, May 31.

“As of Sunday noon, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said that 23,472 OFWs had embarked for their safe homecoming with their families”, the DOLE said.

Meanwhile, the clearances of 538 workers are still being awaited.

More than P700 million had been spent for the repatriation, transport, accommodation, and food of more than 30,000 returning OFWs,  DOLE reported.

Eagle News Service