2 batches of stranded OFWs from Dhaka and Dubai arriving in Davao City

A Philippine Airlines plane taxis along the runway of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City. File photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 July) – Two international flights carrying 154 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dhaka, Bangladesh and another carrying 350 others from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates will arrive in Davao City this week, Mayor Sara Duterte disclosed Monday.

In her weekly program aired over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), she said that the inbound flights were part of the repatriation program of the government for stranded OFWs who want to return home to the Philippines.

She said the repatriated OFWs will undergo a hotel quarantine for 10 days before they will be sent home to their provinces, upon testing negative of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Upon landing at the Davao airport, they will be transported directly to their designated quarantine hotels, the mayor added.

Duterte said the local government had designated several hotels to serve as isolation facilities and that it is fast tracking the vaccination of the hotel workers to give them protection from COVID-19 infection.

Generose Tecson, head of the City Tourism Office, said in a text message that flag-carrier Philippine Airlines will service both repatriation flights.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, however, has yet to inform the city government of the final schedule of their arrivals.

Last June 16, a total of 99 Filipino seafarers on board a chartered flight of Garuda Indonesia arrived in the city from Fiji.

Tecson said the arriving OFWs will undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on the seventh day of their 10-day hotel quarantine in the city, and if tested negative, will be sent home to their provinces after completing the quarantine period.

Duterte said the repatriation helps stranded OFWs to return home while helping the hotel industry recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for serving as quarantine facilities for the repatriates.

According to her, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will shoulder the hotel quarantine expenses of the repatriates.

Duterte assured the public that the repatriation would not cause a spike of COVID-19 variants in the city, as the quarantining OFWs will not be allowed to leave their designated hotels without completing the qarantine period.

The mayor urged anew the constituents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and to observe health standards such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and regular handwashing to fight the pandemic.

According to the Department of Health-Davao, Davao City reported 152 new cases as of July 11, bringing the total cases to 27,042 with 3,203 active, 22,904 recoveries and 935 deaths. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)