Over 3M Filipinos based abroad went back home because of COVID

MANILA — Over 3.11 million Filipinos previously based abroad have come home because of the pandemic as of May 13, more than the 1.77 million estimated number of overseas Filipino workers in 2020 reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

According to the Task Group on Management of Returning Overseas Filipinos, nearly 2.067 million of the 3.11 million were previously OFWs, while 724,361 were non-OFWs and 313,205 were listed as foreign nationals.

“A total of 6,523 deceased returning overseas Filipinos had arrived in the country from July 7, 2020 to May 14, 2022. Of which, 640 died due to COVID-19,” the task group said in its report dated May 14.

The pandemic brought the world to a halt in the first half of 2020, pushing OFWs and other overseas Filipinos to either seek refuge in their host countries or be repatriated.

As of Monday, May 16, reported COVID-19 infections have ballooned to 521.476 million across the world according to Johns Hopkins University data. In the Philippines, COVID cases have already reached 3.68 million.

The task group also reported that 32,594 of the returning overseas Filipinos tested positive for the virus during their quarantine upon arrival. Only 50 remain admitted at 11 quarantine facilities, while 32,515 have since recovered. The death toll stands at 29.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has also reportedly given COVID-19 assistance to OFWs by helping 802,538 to return to their home regions. Another 829,067 availed of “OFW Kalinga,” which is a program for repatriated OFWs.

Nearly 1.024 million OFWs, meanwhile, have availed of the One-Stop-Shop for the Management of Returning Overseas Filipinos “Balik Probinsya and Uwian Na” program.

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