MNS photo

MANILA, Aug 11 (Mabuhay) —  Over 640,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been repatriated to the Philippines amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Tuesday.

According to the agency, a total of 641,717 have finished the required quarantine protocols while 9,000 are still undergoing quarantine.

“Pinaiksi ang quarantine period para sa ating OFWs upang bigyan sila ng pagkakataon na makasama ng mas matagal ang kanilang pamilya,” Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.

In May, the Inter-Agency Task Force n Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the Department of Health’s proposal to have incoming travelers tested for COVID-19 seven days from their arrival in the country.

Travelers will be endorsed to their respective local governments after the 10th day to complete the mandatory two-week quarantine in their hometown.

Meanwhile, the quarantine period for inbound travelers to the Philippines who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has been shortened to seven days from 14 but only if they got vaccinated in the country.

“They are the movers of the economy. Kung wala tayong workers, hindi gagalaw ang negosyo. Kapag hindi gumalaw ang negosyo, hindi rin gagalaw ang ekonomiya,” he said.

“Hindi natin pwedeng pabayaan ang ating mga manggagawang maaapektuhan ng dalawang linggong ECQ. Kahit papaano, dapat mabigyan sila ng kaunting ayuda,” he added. (MNS)

READ NEXT: US CDC advises avoiding travel to Philippines if unvaccinated due to ‘high’ COVID-19 risk