Sotto seeks 'middle ground' on quarantine rules for OFWs and RFOs
June 17, 2021 12:45 PM
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III suggests easing the financial burden on OFWs and ROFs when arriving in the Philippines.
"I hope we can try to find a middle ground."
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III proposed to amend quarantine and testing guidelines for returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
On Wednesday, the Senate held a Committee of the Whole hearing on the progress of the National COVID Vaccination Plan, wherein Sotto revealed that he had received complaints from ROFs who had spent "tens of thousands of pesos for the mandatory 14-day quarantine and swab testing before they are allowed to go home or proceed to their city or province of destination."
The Senate chief even cited an instance wherein an OFW was forced to spend more than P80,000 in total for the entirety of her quarantine.
At the hearing, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, a representative for LGUs, defended her executive order, despite Malacañang reminding Cebu to follow the national government's protocols. In her measure, Garcia instructed local government officials to reduce the days of hotel quarantine to only three days for returning ROFs and OFWs.
"I hope we can try to find a middle ground," Sotto said.
He continued, "I appeal to the IATF together with DOLE, DFA, and OWWA to sit down with our OFW groups and formulate an 'Oplan Pasko' so that our OFWs come home this Christmas."
He reasoned that if the government is incapable of providing free swab tests and quarantine accommodation, then it should "adjust the guidelines" for OFWs and RFOs.